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More than 80 tanks, other military equipment to be auctioned in Northern California

  • Tank Auction-1.jpg

    This Nov. 6, 2013 photo shows an Israeli Sherman tank, part of the Jacques Littlefield Collection, displayed at the Military Vehicle Technology Foundation in Portola Valley, Calif. More than 80 tanks, including this Israeli Sherman tank, that were amassed by Littlefield are set to go up for sale in the San Francisco Bay Area in what is being billed as one of the largest auctions of military vehicles ever. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu) (The Associated Press)

  • Tank Auction-2.jpg

    This Nov. 6, 2013 photo shows the Assault Tank Jumbo Sherman, part of the Jacques Littlefield Collection, displayed at the Military Vehicle Technology Foundation in Portola Valley, Calif. More than 80 tanks, including this Assault Tank Jumbo Sherman, that were amassed by Littlefield are set to go up for sale in the San Francisco Bay Area in what is being billed as one of the largest auctions of military vehicles ever. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu) (The Associated Press)

  • Tank Auction-3.jpg

    File - This Nov. 6, 2013, file photo shows Jerry Rivard, a mechanic with the Collings Foundation, as he gets into a Saladin Mk2 armored car, part of the Jacques Littlefield Collection, at the Military Vehicle Technology Foundation in Portola Valley, Calif. More than 80 tanks, including this Saladin armored car, that were amassed by Littlefield are set to go up for sale in the San Francisco Bay Area in what is being billed as one of the largest auctions of military vehicles ever. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, file) (The Associated Press)

More than 80 tanks amassed by a Stanford University-trained engineer are set to go up for sale in the San Francisco Bay Area in what is being billed as one of the largest auctions of military vehicles ever.

The auction on Friday and Saturday in Portola Valley will also include gun parts and miscellaneous military equipment, including a nearly 42 ton surface-to-surface missile, according to Auctions America, the company handling the auction.

The tanks and other vehicles — part of one of the nation's most extensive, historic, military vehicle collections — were among those amassed over decades by Silicon Valley engineer Jacques Littlefield, who kept them on his family estate up a winding, forested road above Silicon Valley. They span from World War I through the Gulf War, Hunter Chaney, a spokesman for The Collings Foundation, said.

Littlefield's family donated the tanks and other equipment to the foundation after Littlefield's death in 2009. The foundation hopes to raise $10 million from the auction to help build a military vehicle museum at its Stow, Massachusetts, headquarters, Chaney said.

"This collection is very rare and very expensive," he said.

Among the tanks up for auction is a World War II German Panzer IV tank, which is expected to fetch as much as $2.6 million, and an M4 "Jumbo Sherman" Assault Tank, which could go for as much as $1.6 million.

The foundation is holding on to the items with the greatest historical significance, including a World War I tank, Chaney said.

Potential bidders must register to take part in the auction. The collection has so far drawn interest from people from outside the U.S., including in Australia, France, and Germany, and in North America, Amy Christie, a spokeswoman for Auctions America, said.