HomeMediaNormandy museum sale far exceeds pre-auction estimates

Normandy museum sale far exceeds pre-auction estimates


Some of the items sold during the Normandy Tank Museum auction | Artcurial Motorcars photos

More than 1,000 people attended Artcurial Motorcars D-Day Sale this month in Catz, Normandy, where all lots offered by the Normandy Tank Museum Collection sold for a total of $4,160,436, a figure that more than doubled the highest pre-auction estimate.

“What success for this unique sale, with a run of records,” Matthieu Lamoure, managing director of Artcurial Motorcars, said in a news release.

“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.”

The sale distributed military items that had been displayed in the Normandy museum, which closed after only three years of operation. Museum founder Patrick Nerrant had spent 35 years collecting tanks, armored vehicles, airplanes and other items that had been used in U.S., Allied and Axis forces in World War II.

Just one of many tanks offered for sale

The day before the sale, several of the tanks performed demonstration maneuvers in front of the museum.

The 1944 Sherman M4 tanks built by Chrysler topped the sale. An M4 A4 brought $407,680 from an American collector while an M4 105 went for $347,984 to a European buyer. (Prices include buyer’s fee.)

A 1944 Cadillac M24 Chaffee sold for $334,880 to an American collector and a 1944 Cadillac M5 A1 Stuart brought the same amount from a European collector.

American bidders purchased seven of the top 10 sales.

Artcurial noted that higher-than -xpected bids came throughout the sale. Early on, a 1944 Willys Overland MB Jeep brought $112,112, an auction world record for the model. Soon afterward, a 1942 BMW R75 with sidecar, presented in Afrika Korps livery, also set a record, selling for $189,280. A trailer that matched the BMW tandem sold for $23,296, some 20 times its pre-sale estimated value. A third mark fell when a 1944 Cushman military scooter brought $167,440, 10 times its pre-sale estimate.

All lots were offered at no reserve.

Top 10 sales, Artcurial Motorcars Normandy Tank Museum auction, 2016

  1. 1944 Chrysler M4 A4 Sherman, $407,680
  2. 1944 Chrysler M4 Sherman 105, $347,984
  3. 1944 Cadillac M24 Chaffee, $334,880
  4. 1944 Cadillac M5 A1 Stuart, $334,800
  5. 1944 pressed-steel car 105mm Howitzer motor carriage, $291,200
  6. 1942 Cadillac M3 A1 Stuard, $232,960
  7. 1942 BMW R75 with side car, $189,280
  8. 1944 Cushman Motors Works M53-A, $167,400
  9. 1942 Flugabwehrkanoe canon, $145,000
  10. 1942 Ford M8 Grey Hound, $145,600


(Prices include buyer’s premiums.)

Artcurial Motorcars’ next auction is On the Road: Andre Weber Collection of primarily American cars, with the sale scheduled for October 9 at Chateau-sur-Epte near Paris.

Larry Edsall
Larry Edsall
A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.
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