The Collings Foundation has announced that it will be auctioning 160 historic military vehicles next summer. The Foundation, a non-profit Education Foundation supporting the Wings of Freedom Tour & Vietnam Memorial Flight is headquartered in Mass.
The tanks set to be auctioned off were originally part of a donation the Foundation received from a private collector. Former Silicon Valley engineer Jacques Littlefield was an ardent collector of historic military vehicles up until his death, and his massive collection included vehicles from the United States, Israel, England, Germany, Russia, Czechoslovakia, France and Switzerland. Upon his death in 2008, his relatives donated the collection—240 vehicles in all—to the Collings Foundation. The sale of the vehicles is expected to raise around 10 million dollars, which will go toward erecting a new military vehicle museum.
A select 80 armored cars and tanks will be on display at the museum. These particular vehicles have been chosen to showcase chronologically the evolution of military vehicles, beginning the with oldest (and lightest) model in the collection, a World War One M1917 light tank—a modest six tons of machinery.
“If you ultimately value the freedoms we have in the U.S., you understand and appreciate the necessity and you have tremendous admiration and respect for those who put themselves in a position to go ahead and get it,” commented Bill Boller, president of the Military Vehicle Technology Foundation in an interview with the Associated Press.