A tank fanatic was shocked to discover a gold bullion worth 2.5 million US dollars in the fuel compartment of a tank he was restoring.

Media reports say Nick Mead, 55, discovered the five gold bars in the Russian T54/69 while restoring it to add to his collection of 150 military vehicles.

Nick Mead believes the gold bars were looted by Iraqi soldiers in Kuwait during the Gulf War

He and mechanic Todd Chamberlain were reportedly filming themselves prizing open the diesel tank in case they found munitions and needed to show it to bomb disposal crews.

Instead, they pulled out the bars, weighing up to 12 pounds — 5kg — apiece.

Todd, 50, said a quick calculation suggested they were worth in excess of £2million [$2.5 million], according to Fox News.

The Sun says Todd and Nick had already found machine gun ammunition while stripping down the tank and were worried they would find guns.

Instead, they discovered the gold, which they believe was looted by Iraqi soldiers in Kuwait during the Gulf War.

The tank was later captured and shipped to Britain.

Nick runs Tanks-a-Lot, giving petrolheads the chance to drive any of his tanks on his farm in Helmdon, Northants.

He traded in an Army lorry and an Abbot self-propelled gun for the T54/69 in a deal worth about £30,000 after seeing it advertised on eBay.