The 2018 September Premiere Firearms Auction held by Rock Island Auction Company (RIAC) was the largest firearms auction in industry history. Realizing a total of $20,011,092, a portion of it came from the sale of a number of historic military vehicles.
The vehicles had been part of the Armed Forces History Museum (AFHM), a 501(c)(3), non-profit museum in the city of Largo Florida. The museum opened in August 2008, with 35,000 sq. ft. of indoor displays and an additional 15,000 sq. ft. of outdoor viewing space. It housed historical memorabilia including fully restored, fully operational jeeps, tanks, halftracks and armor. The museum closed permanently on January 29, 2017.
The clamor around the auction had been growing for months. The presence of military vehicles, including several tanks and armored vehicles, captured the attention of even casual enthusiasts. The anticipation continued to grow as more and more pieces were announced.
Bidders came from all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and 27 foreign countries. RIAC’s online catalog was viewed more than 2.8 million times.
It’s not easy to follow a first day auction of firearms that contained a $1 million gun, but Saturday was up for the challenge as many of the historic military vehicles rolled across the auction block. The audience could hear an M41A1 Walker Bulldog tank running outside the auction hall as bidding reached $230,000. This was followed by an M5A1 Stuart Light tank that sold for $287,500. In all, 19 historic vehicles and pieces of ordnance sold on Day 2. The prices shown here do not include the 15% buyer’s premium.
For more information, long on this auction, future sales, or consigning, log on to www.RockIslandAuction.com
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