Military museum near Strasbourg sells functioning WW2 tanks

The tanks were among some 40 vehicles from the World War Two era sold by auction. 

26 October 2020
By Joanna York

A military museum Wantzenau, in Grand Est, has sold off around 40 vehicles from its private collection, including military tanks – some of which still function. 

The auction took place on October 25, featuring vehicles that largely dated from the World War Two period. 

While the auctioneer attended the sale remotely via video link from Caen, Normandy - people hoping to buy the military memorabilia attended in person. 

Functioning tanks sold to collectors

As well as complete vehicles, pieces of tanks were also sold. Many of the vehicles sold no longer function, but among the most anticipated lots were fully-working tanks.  

These included a Czech-made tank from the 1950s, which was a close imitation of the German force’s Wehrmacht tanks. The Czech model was valued at €80,000 but sold for €40,000.

A Russian tank, also valued at €80,000, was sold for €59,000. The vehicle was made in Yekaterinburg, a city east of the Ural Mountains, in 1944, and still functions as new, despite a few repairs.

Another tank in the auction was decorated in American colours. It caught the eye of a collector who told regional news source France 3 Grand Est: “It’s my favourite tank. I’m really interested in World War Two, and everything American. I already have a partially-restored Jeep at home." 

He did not plan on buying the tank, however.


Museum selling off unused collection

The vehicles being sold by the museum made up part of its reserve collection. 

One of the owners, Dominique Soulier said: “They are pieces that have never been put on display in the museum as we already have similar models on show. We do not have time to restore them, so we are taking the opportunity to make some extra space [by selling them].”

The museum, called MM Park France, opened in 2017 with a collection built by two private collectors. It is situated in the industrial zone of Wantzenau, Bas Rhin.

Its remaining collection can be viewed from 9:00-19:00 every day, with a maximum ticket cost of €9.

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