US Tank Destroyer M36 Jackson

Lot 0237, Tracks & Trade March 2023 auction

What’s ‘Big Chief’ worth? Or, put another way, how much would you invest in your very own, Class A-restored and very usable M36 Jackson

I am often tempted to reach for my wallet when I see an elegant sportscar, or a fast or rare motorcycle. This time, that urge to acquire something beautiful and special was triggered by ‘Big Chief’. What an impressive piece of equipment. It’s pretty big, I mused, so I’ll need a big shed to store it, and I’ll need to talk to the bank manager about a loan...Back to earth with a bump; as someone with a normal day job, ‘Big Chief’ is unfortunately out of my league.

So just what do you get for the auctioneer’s estimate of EUR 575,000 to 625,000?

First off, you get a historically significant WW II tank destroyer. The M36 was capable of taking out the best tanks the Germans fielded during the war. It was an accomplished Panther, Tiger and King Tiger killer – quite fast, maneuverable, with a high turret rotation speed and a powerful gun that could destroy the German tanks from a relatively ‘safe’ distance. In fact, as the auction brochure points out, Alfred Rose of the 814th Tank Destroyer Battalion used an M36 Jackson’s 90 mm main gun to fire on and destroy a German Mk V Panther tank at a range of 4,200 meters (4,600 yards).

Secondly, you will be acquiring a vehicle with its own unique story. After WW II, this M36 was sold to Yugoslavia where it was fitted with a Soviet-made T55 diesel engine instead of the 18 liter Ford GAA gasoline engine at some point, simply to keep it running. In 2001/2002, the M36 was shipped to Britain where it underwent a full restoration.

Thirdly, you will be able to enjoy a fully restored Classic Military Vehicle, painstakingly brought back to perfect running condition by a globally respected restorer, and you will even have the honor of breaking in the fully overhauled ‘all original’ Ford GAA engine. A picture is worth a thousand words, they say, and that’s certainly true in this case. The photographs highlight the astounding condition of this beautiful piece.

The new ‘custodian’ of this unique item is guaranteed years of enjoyment and pride. Worth every cent!

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