Wish you had something in your driveway with a little more … power? Well, now’s your chance.
One of the largest collections of military machines in the United States is being auctioned July 11-12 in California.
It was curated over the years by the late Jacques Littlefield, who housed the collection at his Military Vehicle Technology Foundation in Portola Valley.
After Littlefield’s death in 2009, the collection was acquired by the Collings Foundation, an educational organization whose mission is to preserve the history of military automobiles and aircraft.
Several of the vehicles will be moved to a new facility in Stow, Mass., paid for in part by the sale of the bulk of the collection.
No fewer than 114 vehicles will cross the block at the event run by Auctions America, including Stuart, Abrams and Sherman tanks, self-propelled Howitzers and a variety of armored personnel carriers from the U.S., Britain, South Africa, Australia and other countries.
Some of the more unusual vehicles include a six-wheel Jeep known as a Military Utility Tactical Truck, or MUTT, and an East German amphibious tank.
And the piece de resistance, so to speak: a Soviet SCUD launcher that can toss a 1,500 nuclear payload up to 93 miles. The projectile has been disabled, of course, as have the weapons systems on all of the vehicles.
The SCUD is expected to go for as much as $350,000, while the lowest estimated price is $5,000 for a Willys Mechanical Mule: a flat-top two-cylinder work truck that is the essence of basic transportation and was produced from 1956 to1970.
But the highest-priced lot may also come with the most interesting backstory.
It’s a 1944 German Panzerkampfwagen that became part of the Czechoslovakian arsenal after World War II and was sold to Syria in the 1950s. The 27.6-ton tank was captured by the Israeli Army during the Six-Day War of 1967 and was used for training until 1994, when it was put on display in a museum in Israel. Littleton bought it in 2003. It is one of the few vehicles in the collection that haven’t been meticulously restored, but it is still expected to fetch as much as $2.6 million.