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.

July 2014 Auction Recap

Welcome to our July 2014 auction rundown, beginning with Artcurial’s 2014 Le Mans sale. The top sale was this 1961 Mercedes-Benz 300SL for $1,505,502.

Photo - Artcurial

Photo – Artcurial

Our feature cars all sold, with the Jaguar Buetler Prototype leading the way and smashing its estimate, selling for $217,162. Both other cars, the D.B. HBR5 and the Koenig Testarossa, sold for $160,860 each. Interesting cars were topped by this 1966 Fiat 1500 GT Barchetta by Ghia for $96,516. Check out full results here.

Photo - Artcurial

Photo – Artcurial

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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.

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.

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.

Another Batch of Military Vehicles

The Littlefield Collection

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


 1942 Cadillac M5 Stuart

Photo - Auctions America

Photo – Auctions America

Labeling this as a Cadillac might be a little misleading, but Cadillac did build it – so why shouldn’t they get the credit? The M5 was a version of the M3 Stuart – one of the most popular light tanks of the Second World War. General Motors was behind it and the M5 was basically an M3 with upgraded armor.

In all, 2,074 M5s were built – only 1,470 were built by Cadillac in Michigan. This tank has been given a new engine and fresh restoration. It runs and drives wonderfully and is usable. The engines are twin 8-cylinders from Cadillac making a combined output of 220 horsepower. It can do 36 mph and be yours for $100,00-$150,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $310,500.


ca.1975 Panhard M3

Photo - Auctions America

Photo – Auctions America

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M5 Half-Track

1943 International M5 Half-Track

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

Photo - Auctions America

Photo – Auctions America

Apparently, it’s the day of “vehicles that begin with “M” and are followed by a number”. The M5 Half-Track is very similar to the M3 Half-Track (of which we’ve featured an example). The M5 was built by the International Harvester Corporation and had heavier armor than the M3 and a different engine – in this case, a 7.4-liter engine. But this particular vehicle was used by Israel after the war and they replaced the engine with the current six-cylinder GM diesel making 212 horsepower.

Only 4,625 M5s were built between 1942 and 1943. Israel used them into the mid-1980s. You can buy this driving example for $35,000-$45,000. Read more here.

Update: Sold $31,625.

Jumbo Sherman

1944 Fisher Tank Arsenal M4A3E2 Jumbo Sherman

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

Photo - Auctions America

Photo – Auctions America

The M4 Sherman was the United States’ primary tank for a duration of World War II. They were produced in big numbers and saw hell on the battlefield. The Jumbo Sherman was built in 1944 by Fisher Tank Arsenal (the same Fisher that built bodies for GM). Only 254 of this model were built – making them super rare today. Only 7 or 8 remain. The engine is a Ford V-8 making 450 horsepower. The armor is thick and the guns were strong, which made them really popular with soldiers during the war and collectors today. This one, with only a partial restoration, could bring between $1,400,000-$1,600,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Not sold, high bid of $800,000.

Panzer.

 1944 Nibelungenwerke Panzerkampfwagen IV Ausf. H

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

Photo - Auctions America

Photo – Auctions America

The Panzer IV was one of the most popular German tanks during the Second World War. It was the most produced as well. They were manufactured by Krupp, Vomag, and Nibelungenwerke – which would become Steyr-Daimler-Puch after the war. So this one was built in Austria. About 8,553 were built between 1936 and 1945.

The engine is a 296 horsepower Maybach V-12 that can push this thing to 26 mph. Used by Czechoslovakia after the war, they sold it to Syria. It was captured by Israel in 1967 and the museum got it in 2003. It is all-original and needs to be restored. But that doesn’t mean it’s cheap: the estimate is between $2,000,000-$2,400,000. Click here for more.

Update: Not sold, high bid of $1,750,000.