The Original Hellcat

1944 Buick M18 Hellcat

Offered by Auctions America | Auburn, Indiana | May 12, 2017

Photo – Auctions America

World War II tanks are just awesome. And the Buick-built M18 Hellcat was one of the best. It was the most effective American tank destroyer in WWII and the fastest American tracked armored vehicle until the M1 Abrams of 1980. As a tank destroyer, this thing was designed to destroy other tanks. What’s manlier than a tank built to eliminate its own kind? Not much.

Designed in 1942, the M18 entered service in 1943 and Buick turned out 2,507 of them through October of 1944. It’s powered by a 350 horsepower, Continental nine-cylinder radial engine. Top speed was 55 mph. Imagine one of these bearing down on you at top speed. Pretty frightening.

The pre-sale estimate is between $275,000-$350,000. WWII tanks in great condition trade hands for big money. They are both rare and desirable because of the generation of soldiers they represent. Click here for more info and here for more from Auctions America.

Update: Sold $247,500.

NSU Kettenkrad

1944 NSU Kettenkrad

Offered by Bonhams | Goodwood, U.K. | March 19, 2017

Photo – Bonhams

It’s weird how war can create the need for vehicles that previously did not exist. Take this, the Kettenkrad – or, technically, the SdKfz 2. “Kettenkrad” is basically German slang for “tracked motorcycle.” This vehicle – it’s not technically a tank, and not technically a motorcycle, nor technically a tricycle (it has the right layout but more wheels than most trucks) – was designed and manufactured by NSU in Germany.

Produced between 1939 and 1948, the Kettenkrad was designed to be used by the German airborne, as it could fit in the cargo compartment of a Junkers Ju 52 – but it couldn’t be dropped via parachute. It’s powered by the 1.5-liter, 36 horsepower straight-four from an Opel Olympia. Top speed was 44 mph – making it the fastest tracked vehicle of WWII.

This has known ownership history back to 2011 (yep) and it’s been completely restored. Kettenkrads are a staple of every WWII movie set in Europe. By the time wartime production stopped in 1944, 8,345 of these had been built. Production resumed after the war as these were popular on farms. About 550 more were built through 1948. This immaculate wartime example should bring between $75,000-$100,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $64,108.

M4 Sherman

1944 Chrysler M4 Sherman

Offered by Artcurial | Catz, France | September 18, 2016

Photo - Artcurial

Photo – Artcurial

This is not your father’s Chrysler. Or, if he’s a World War II veteran, maybe it is. The Medium Tank, M4 (aka the M4 Sherman) was the most popular American tank of WWII (and thereafter). They were in service from 1942 through 1955 and some countries used them until 1990.

There were 16 variants of this tank, with this being an M4(105) which was built between February 1944 and March 1945. Only 800 were built, making it one of the rarer variants. Nearly 50,000 Shermans were built of all types.

This historical monster is powered by a 16-liter, 9-cylinder radial engine built by Continental. Horsepower is in the 300-450 range and this fully restored example is described as “quite pleasing to use and drive.” This is a great piece of WWII and American history and one that doesn’t come up for sale often. It’s incredibly cool and should sell for between $225,000-$450,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $330,540.

Five Additional Military Vehicles

The Littlefield Collection

Offered by Auctions America | Portola Valley, California | July 11-12, 2014


 1973 Alvis FV721 Fox Prototype

Photo - Auctions America

Photo – Auctions America

The Fox was Britain’s replacement for the Ferret armored scout car. It was designed and manufactured by Alvis, beginning in 1973. The final Foxes were withdrawn from service in 1994.

The Fox here is one of the original prototypes and remains in original condition. The engine is a 4.2-liter straight-six from Jaguar making 190 horsepower. It should sell for between $30,000-$40,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $57,500.


1942 Baldwin M3A5 Grant II

Photo - Auctions America

Photo – Auctions America

The M3 Lee was designed prior to America’s entry into WWII. They were operational around the time Pearl Harbor was attacked. In 1942, a new variant, the M3A5 was introduced. The “Grant II” – as it was called – used a GM engine and was built by Baldwin Locomotive Works.

This tank was shipped new to Australia and uses a 12-cylinder diesel making 375 horsepower. It will do 25 mph and cost the new owner between $300,000-$400,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $276,000.


ca.1963 Panhard EBR-90

Photo - Auctions America

Photo – Auctions America

The Panhard EBR (which is the French abbreviation for “Armored Reconnaissance Vehicle”) was designed prior to World War II but didn’t actually go into production until 1950. It was produced in three versions, with the 90-mm cannoned version you see here starting production in 1963.

It’s an impressive setup: eight-wheel drive. It’s powered by a 200 horsepower Fiat 6.0-liter flat-12. About 1,200 were built and the last ones left the French military in 1987. This one should cost between $100,000-$125,000. Click here for more.

Update: Sold $28,750.


ca.1960 ZiL BTR-152

Photo - Auctions America

Photo – Auctions America

The BTR-152 was built by ZiS (from 1950 until 1956) and later by ZiL (through 1962). In total, about 15,000 were built. It’s an armored personnel carrier from the Soviet Union. The engine is a 107 horsepower straight-six.

This example isn’t in the best of shape, but it does run and drive “very well,” according to the auction catalog. This one wears Egyptian Army markings and should sell for between $15,000-$25,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $34,500.


1945 ACF M37 105-mm Howitzer Motor Carriage

Photo - Auctions America

Photo – Auctions America

This beautiful HMC (basically a motorized Howitzer… artillery on wheels) was built in late 1945 and therefore didn’t see action in WWII. It was built by the American Car and Foundry Company (ACF for short). It was based on the American M24 Chaffee tank.

The engine is actually two Cadillac 8-cylinder engines – making it a 16-cylinder monster putting out a combined total of 220 horsepower. Only 316 were delivered out of a total of 448 orders. Everything on this one still works – so if you’re celebrating the 4th of July today, here’s your firework machine. It’ll cost you between $200,000-$250,000. Click here for more info and here for the rest of this amazing collection.

Update: Sold $195,500.

ZiL BTR-152

ca.1960 ZiL BTR-152

Offered by Auctions America | Portola Valley, California | July 11-12, 2014

Photo - Auctions America

Photo – Auctions America

The BTR-152 was built by ZiS (from 1950 until 1956) and later by ZiL (through 1962). In total, about 15,000 were built. It’s an armored personnel carrier from the Soviet Union. The engine is a 107 horsepower straight-six.

This example isn’t in the best of shape, but it does run and drive “very well,” according to the auction catalog. This one wears Egyptian Army markings and should sell for between $15,000-$25,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $34,500.

Alvis Fox

1973 Alvis FV721 Fox Prototype

Offered by Auctions America | Portola Valley, California | July 11-12, 2014

Photo - Auctions America

Photo – Auctions America

The Fox was Britain’s replacement for the Ferret armored scout car. It was designed and manufactured by Alvis, beginning in 1973. The final Foxes were withdrawn from service in 1994.

The Fox here is one of the original prototypes and remains in original condition. The engine is a 4.2-liter straight-six from Jaguar making 190 horsepower. It should sell for between $30,000-$40,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $57,500.

Panhard EBR-90

ca.1963 Panhard EBR-90

Offered by Auctions America | Portola Valley, California | July 11-12, 2014

Photo - Auctions America

Photo – Auctions America

The Panhard EBR (which is the French abbreviation for “Armored Reconnaissance Vehicle”) was designed prior to World War II but didn’t actually go into production until 1950. It was produced in three versions, with the 90-mm cannoned version you see here starting production in 1963.

It’s an impressive setup: eight-wheel drive. It’s powered by a 200 horsepower Fiat 6.0-liter flat-12. About 1,200 were built and the last ones left the French military in 1987. This one should cost between $100,000-$125,000. Click here for more.

Update: Sold $28,750.

Howitzer Motor Carriage

1945 ACF M37 105-mm Howitzer Motor Carriage

Offered by Auctions America | Portola Valley, California | July 11-12, 2014

Photo - Auctions America

Photo – Auctions America

This beautiful HMC (basically a motorized Howitzer… artillery on wheels) was built in late 1945 and therefore didn’t see action in WWII. It was built by the American Car and Foundry Company (ACF for short). It was based on the American M24 Chaffee tank.

The engine is actually two Cadillac 8-cylinder engines – making it a 16-cylinder monster putting out a combined total of 220 horsepower. Only 316 were delivered out of a total of 448 orders. Everything on this one still works – so if you’re celebrating the 4th of July today, here’s your firework machine. It’ll cost you between $200,000-$250,000. Click here for more info and here for the rest of this amazing collection.

Update: Sold $195,500.

GAZ BTR-40

ca.1958 GAZ BTR-40

Offered by Auctions America | Portola Valley, California | July 11-12, 2014

Photo - Auctions America

Photo – Auctions America

The BTR-40 was a Soviet armored personnel carrier built by GAZ between 1950 and 1960. It was based on the GAZ-63 truck. This one has been restored and wears Israeli colors. The BTR-40 was in service until the 1980s in the USSR as well as China and they were poorly protected from all but the lightest artillery. And they weren’t amphibious.

The engine is an 80 horsepower six-cylinder and it has a top speed of 50 mph. About 8,500 were built. This one should sell for between $50,000-$60,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $58,650.

Panhard M3

ca.1975 Panhard M3

Offered by Auctions America | Portola Valley, California | July 11-12, 2014

Photo - Auctions America

Photo – Auctions America

Panhard is one of the oldest automobile companies in the world. While they stopped building road cars long ago, military vehicle manufacture has continued to this today. The M3 is an armored personnel carrier that went into production for the French military in 1971. Only 1,200 were built by the end of production in 1986.

This one is in good condition and runs and drives. The engine is a 90 horsepower Panhard four. It’s pretty incredible that this 6-ton vehicle can do 56 mph. You can buy it for between $50,000-$75,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $39,100.