In what figures to be the largest sale of historic military vehicles since 2012, Auctions America will sell at no reserve more than 100 World War I through Afghanistan-era vehicles from the Littlefield Collection. Also to be offered at the auction July 11-12 will be various parts and accessories collected by the late Jacques Littlefield.
During the course of more than three decades, Littlefield built his collection and founded the military Vehicle Technology Foundation and museum in Portola Valley, Calif. After his death, the collection was acquired by the Collings Foundation, which will integrate around 80 of the Littlefield vehicles and aircraft into a new 64,000-square-foot facility in Stow, Mass.
The Auctions America sale includes vehicles and material not making the move to the East Coast, where the new facility should be open in late 2015.
All hammer prices will go to The Collings Foundation. Auctions America will collect its usual buyer premium.
“The Littlefield Collection boasts an impressive range of vehicles and represents points in history that appeal to a global audience beyond traditional military collectors,” Ian Kelleher, a specialist for Auctions American and RM Auctions said in a statement. “The majority of the collection remains drivable and usable and can be easily repurposed for private use.”
“There is no question that Jacques Littlefield created the world’s leading private collection of military technology,” said Rob Collings, executive director of The Collings Foundation.
“A truly unprecedented event, the upcoming sale offers a very special opportunity for collectors from around the world to sustain Jacques’ legacy and help preserve, protect and present these vehicles that defined the world we live in.”
The majority of the collection remains drivable and usable and can be easily repurposed for private use.”
— Ian Kelleher
The Collings Foundation is a non-profit educational institution founded in 1979 to organize and support “living history” events to share the American heritage. The foundation has more than 27 historical aircraft and more than 100 vehicles, machines and major artifacts. Since 1989, its focus has been on a national “Wings of Freedom Tour” showcasing two WWII bombers and a fighter aircraft. The foundation also has a racing car collection.
Auctions America also handled the 2012 sale of some 80 vehicles and assorted memorabilia including many uniforms from the National Military History Center in Auburn, Ind. That sale raised around $2.97 million for the facility, which faced its note coming due on a $2.9 million mortgage loan.
Among the top sales at that auction were a Daimler-Benz DB10 half-track troop carrier that brought $200,000, a Haromag armored 3/4-track that went for $160,000, a Horch 4×4 cross-country personnel car that brought $150,000 and a Borgward half-track that sold for $145,000.
Many of the buyers were people involved in various World War re-enactment groups. Some said they liked to use such vehicles on their ranches, farms or other extensive land holdings. Some said they like to show such vehicles are local parades.
Being offered from the Littlefield Collection at the upcoming auction is equipment from WWI, WWII, Korean, Vietnam, Desert Storm, Iraq and Afghanistan, and from as many as 15 nations, including:
- A restored and drivable 1945 M37 105-mm Howitzer Motor Carriage (USA),
- A 1956 42-ton SCUD A Middle Launcher (USSR),
- A WWII-era DUKW Amphibious Personnel Carrier (USA)