Normandy Tank Museum auction tops $4 million at Artcurial
A sale of WWII vehicles from a French military museum realized more than $4 million this week.
The auction, hosted by Artcurial, offered items from the Normandy Tank Museum, including tanks, armoured vehicles, cars, trucks, motorcycles, planes and military accessories.
Having assembled his collection over the course of more than 35 years, Patrick Nerrant opened the museum in 2013, just a few kilometers from the D-Day landing beaches.
Nerrant closed the museum earlier this year and its entire contents, spanning 130 lots, were snapped up during the sale for a total of €3,714,675 ($4,160,436).
"What success for this unique sale, with a run of records!" said Matthieu Lamoure, Managing Director of Artcurial Motorcars.
"It was wonderful to see so many enthusiasts together in the room, in addition to those bidding on the telephone and internet. Many were taking part in an auction for the first time. We have our finger on the pulse of this global market and achieved many benchmark prices. People were talking in English, German and French."
Leading the sale were a pair of spectacular Sherman tanks used by the U.S Army – a 1946 Chrysler M4A4 Sherman tank which sold for $407,680, and a rare Chrysler M4 Sherman 105 tank, one of only 80 built, which sold for $347,984.
There were also impressive prices for a 1942 Cadillac M3A1 Stuart tank which sold for $221,280; a 1944 pressed steel car - 105MM Howitzer motor carriage which sold for $276,600; and 1944 Willys Overland Motors Jeep MB which realized a record $112,112.
Further auction records were set by a 1942 BMW R75 motorcycle with side-car, presented in Afrika Korps livery, which sold for $189,280, almost five times its original estimate; the motorcycle's matching trailer, which sold for $23 296, more than 20 times its estimate; and a rare Cushman military scooter built for paratroopers which fetched $167,440.
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