Lancashire property developer Brian Boys has decided to reduce his collection of military vehicles in the UK to a few of his favourites as he prepares to sell at auction.
Boys, the chairman of property developer and lettings specialist B&E Boys, is selling his collection of about 150 wheeled and tracked military vehicles through the Manchester office of plant and machinery auctioneers Sanderson Weatherall.
The collection as a whole is valued at in excess of £1m and individual lots are expected to attract bids of up to and in excess of £100,000.
A rare World War Two Sexton Self Propelled Artillery Vehicle, a Russian T55 tank, a US M47 Patton tank, two Chieftain Main Battle Tanks with bridgelayers, six GKN FV432 armoured personnel carriers, a Daimler Ferret MK4 Big Wheel Scout Car and three Fox Light Armoured Cars are amongst the tracked and wheeled vehicles going under the hammer.
There is also a wide range of guns, motorcycles, personnel and weapons carriers, jeeps and cross country vehicles including several US Willys jeeps, wheeled tugs, trucks and wagons and utility vehicles such as a Ford Model T Fire Engine thought to have been owned by star of the silent screen Charlie Chaplin.
Boys said his interest in military vehicles started as a boy with Dinky Toys and continued during and after two years in the Army with the Royal Military Police between 1958 and 1960.
He regularly attends military fairs and amassed his collection from such events and other private collectors worldwide.
Boys' military vehicles have been available for hire and have been used for box office hit films. For instance, Boys sold two half-tracked vehicles that appeared in Steven Spielberg's war film Saving Private Ryan.
Boys said: "I've been collecting these vehicles from around the world for more than 25 years. It's a drug and a disease but it's given me the opportunity to make lots of friends worldwide and I shall miss that camaraderie."
Stephen Jepson, auction manager from the Manchester office of Sanderson Weatherall, added: "This is one of the largest private collections of such vehicles in the whole of the UK and its sale represents a fantastic opportunity for people to invest in the military heritage of this and other nations.
"Brian is one of the UK's leading authorities on military vehicles and has assembled his collection lovingly over many years. He has decided to sell because he is retiring from collecting such equipment and we feel privileged to be involved with the sale of such a fantastic range of military equipment."
The live onsite and webcast auction is being staged from 1pm on Wednesday 30 June at St Mary's Chambers Conference and Function Centre on Haslingden Road in Rawtenstall, Rossendale.
Viewings will be staged on the morning of the auction and also from 9am to 4pm on Monday 28 June and Tuesday 29 June.
Further auctions of vehicle spares, Army surplus, and memorabilia amassed by Boys are also being staged by the Manchester office of Sanderson Weatherall.