The Normandy Tank Museum will be closing its doors in September 2016 and therewith selling its entire collection of D-Day vehicles, uniforms, military items and even a plane. The apparent reason for all this is, according to co-founder Stephane Nerrat, is because the museum didn`t attract enough visitors.
More than 40 armored vehicles such as a Kübelwagen Type 82, Willys Jeep, Harley Davidson WLA and tanks like a M4 Sherman, M7 B1 Priest and various others will be sold on September 18 by Artcurial, a Paris-based luxury auction house. If any of the vehicles can’t interested you, they will also be selling a Piper L-4 “Grasshopper” plane, a FlaK 88mm cannon and thousands of other military items from World War II. Dozens of mannequins equipped in full military uniform and gear are for also for sale.
Note for all militaria enthusiasts: most of the uniforms are reproductions however all the vehicles are authentic. For those interested, the Flak 88 is for sale for a price between 70.000 – 130 000 EUR.
The sale will be held in the museum in Catz, a town a few kilometers from Normandy’s Utah beach. According to Bloomsberg, co-founder Stephane Nerrant told them in a phone interview: “We thought the museum would attract more people. The terrorist attacks had a considerable impact on visitor attendance.” Also the French refinery-workers strikes that caused fuel shortages in May and June throughout the country also dented ticket sale, according to the co-founder.
The Normandy Tank Museum did open in 2013, based on the private collection of founder Patrick Nerrant, Stephane’s father.