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Fleet of military tanks up for auction

Rich people are obsessed with security these days: financial security, personal security and psychological security.

So for the new age of worried wealth, Auctions America is offering the ultimate protection: your own personal fleet of military tanks.

As part of an auction of military gear Friday and Saturday, Auctions America is selling more than a half dozen tanks, along with armored vehicles, Scud missile launchers and high-powered guns.

Lot 5004 - Panzerkampfwagen IV Aust. H.
Source: Auctions America
Lot 5004 - Panzerkampfwagen IV Aust. H.

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The items are no longer "serviceable," which means they can't actually fire. And some are subject to special permits and export restrictions. But what billionaire wouldn't sleep better at night with a jumbo Sherman Assault Tank parked in front of the mansion?

The collection being sold was once owned by Jacques M. Littlefield, a computer engineer who was fascinated with military vehicles and founded the Military Vehicle Technology Foundation, which housed the collection.

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Littlefield died in 2009. Part of the collection is being sold in 200 lots.

The top lot is a Panzerkampfwagen IV Ausf., more commonly known as a "Panzer" tank, which was widely used by the Germans in World War II. The Panzer being offered for sale was bought by Syria in the 1950s and captured by the Israelis during the Six Day War in 1967. The pre-auction price was estimated at $2.4 million to $2.6 million.

Here are some other highlights from the sale:

M55 8-inch self-propelled Howitzer

Lot 1033: M55 8-inch Self-Propelled Howitzer.
Lot 1033: M55 8-inch Self-Propelled Howitzer.

The M55 was used by the U.S. military in Vietnam until it was replaced by the M110. It also saw service with the Belgian, Turkish and West German armies. The pre-auction price of the lot was estimated at $30,000-$40,000.

M50 Israeli Sherman

M50 Israeli Sherman Tank
Source: Auctions America
M50 Israeli Sherman Tank

The M50 saw service in the 1967 Six Day War and with reserve units in the 1973 Yom Kippur War. They were retired from service in the late 1970s with some being given to Israel's South Lebanese Army ally. The price was estimated at $300,000 to $350,000.

2S7 Pion 203-mm self-propelled gun

2S7-203 MM Pion
Source: Auctions America
2S7-203 MM Pion

Originally manufactured in the U.S.S.R., this is one of 12 2S7 Pion sold to Czechoslovakia. The self-propelled gun was designated for a large-scale nuclear war. Price estimate: $150,000 to $175,000.

FV214 Conqueror heavy tank

Lot 1078: FV214 Conqueror Heavy Tank
Source: Auctions America
Lot 1078: FV214 Conqueror Heavy Tank

The Conqueror was developed to deal with the Soviet heavy tanks and was equipped with what's known as a "hunter-killer" system, with the commander, in his cupola at the rear of the huge turret, able to acquire a target independently of the gunner. Price estimate: $150,000 to $200,000.

RCM 748 "Tracked Rapier" weapons carrier

Lot 1080: RCM 748 'Tracked Rapier' Weapons Carrier.
Source: Auctions America
Lot 1080: RCM 748 'Tracked Rapier' Weapons Carrier.

Built for the British Army and the Royal Air Force, the carrier held Rapier anti-aircraft missiles and saw service in the Falklands. Price estimate: $75,000 to $125,000.

M4A2(76) HVSS Sherman

Lot 5001- M4A2(76)HVSS Sherman.
Source: Auctions America
Lot 5001- M4A2(76)HVSS Sherman.

This tank was used during World War II and several were sent to the Soviet Union under Lend-Lease programs. Price estimate: $350,000 to $450,000.

8-ton Half-Track Sd.Kfz. 7 (KM m11)

Lot 5002 - 8-Ton Half-Track.
Source: Auctions America
Lot 5002 - 8-Ton Half-Track.

Built in 1942, the Half-Track saw service with the Wehrmacht during World War II and was used to tow medium artillery.

Bench seating was provided for as many as 11 gun-crew members, while compartments in the rear could be used to carry ammunition.

Post-war, the vehicles were used by the Czechoslovakian Army for several years until replaced by Soviet or domestically produced equipment.

Price estimate: $900,000 to $1.2 million.

M4A3E2 Assault Tank “Jumbo Sherman”

Lot 5005: M4A3E2 Assault Tank “Jumbo" Sherman.
Source: Auctions America
Lot 5005: M4A3E2 Assault Tank “Jumbo" Sherman.

This tank is an extremely rare vehicle with possibly only seven or eight left in existence. In 1944, the U.S. Army Ground Forces requested that existing light and medium tank designs be modified in order to create an assault tank for infantry support against the expected German fortifications.

During the German Ardennes offensive of December 1944, commonly referred to as "The Battle of the Bulge," an M4A3E2 belonging to the 4th Armored Division was the first U.S. tank to breakthrough to the embattled 101st Airborne Division.

Estimate: $1.4 million to $1.6 million.

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