One of the world’s greatest collection of WW2 armor and support vehicles is to be broken up and sold this September 18th.
French tank specialist and enthusiast, Patrick Nerrant started building his collection of armored vehicles from the Second World War in the 1980s. He was the first collector to exhibit and present his collections during official war commemorations. He passed on his passion to his two sons and together they built an incredible collection, most of which has been restored to authentic and operational condition.
The family created the Normandy Tank Museum on the D-Day landing beaches near Utah Beach on the historic site of the first Allied Advance Landing Ground – the A10 Airfield. This temporary aerodrome opened on June 19, 1944.
Following a chronological path from 1942 to 1945, the museum layout presents the greatest battles from the Second World War conflict. The scenography is magnificent and is animated by life-sized models in realistic settings. The original uniforms, helmets and armour help to bring these scenes to life.
The entire collection of vehicles in the Normandy Tank Museum displays an attention to detail, presentation and quality. Certain items have been completely restored and are in original and working order. The restoration process has involved sourcing original spare parts from around the world.
Patrick Nerrant now plans to retire and has decided with his sons to sell the collection at auction.
While I respect the right of this family to sell their quite valuable* collection, as a historian it pains me to see it broken up and dispersed.
The D-Day Sale will take place in Catz in Normandy and represents the collection gathered by Patrick Nerrant and his two sons, Olivier and Stéphane over the past 35 years.
Over 120 lots (tanks, armored machines, automobile, trucks, bikes and planes from the US military army and Axis forces) will be offered at no reserve. Each piece traces key moments in the Second World War, from North Africa to the D-Day landings and the battle of Normandy, the Cobra operation to the liberation of Paris and the battle of the Ardennes.
Highlights include a BMW R75 sidecar, Caterpillar D8, Citroën traction 38, M4 Sherman, M3A1 « Stuart », M5 Stuart, Dodge WC51/52, Dodge WC Command Car, Dodge WC-54 Ambulance, Flak 36 88mm, Ford M8 “Greyhound”, GMC DUKW, Cushman 53 “Para bike”, GMC CCKW-352/353, Half-Track M1/M5, Jeep Willys, Kübelwagen, LVT-4 (Landing Vehicle Tracked), M24 Chaffee, M7 Priest, M26 Dragon Wagon, Norton WD16H, Piper L-4 “Grasshopper”, a M15 tailor, Scout Car M3A1
*M4 SHERMAN – 105 mm Howitzer
Estimate: €200,000 – €400,000 / $220,000 – $440,000
Made by Chrysler in Detroit, this Arsenal tank is in the colours of the 501 regiment. It was one of the vehicles that liberated Paris on 25 August 1944. It is presented in well-maintained working order and will appeal to all enthusiasts.
Cadillac M24 Chaffee
Estimate: €150,000 – €250,000/ $156,000 – $275,000
This tank was designed and built by Cadillac. Boasting the most advanced technical engineering, it rivals the quality of the top American Saloons. This armoured vehicle took part in the infamous Ardennes Offensive, led by Général de Patton.
Estimate: €15,000 – €25,000 / $16,500 – $27,500
The legendary Willys Jeep celebrates its 75th anniversary this year! The production, simplicity and ease of use ensured that this vehicle, a symbol of the Second World War, would be highly successful. The radiator grill has become an international symbol of freedom. It is highly sought-after and collectible item.
Estimation: €15,000 – €25,000 / $16,500 – $27,500
The Harley-Davidson WLA is a motorbike built during the Second World War to US army specification. It was based on an existing civilian model, the WL, a bike associated with the American Dream and of great appeal to French enthusiasts.
Photo Source: Normandy Tank Museum (Picture Heavy) – Derek’s Wee Toys