The Littlefield Collection | Lot 1057
M53 155-mm Self-Propelled Gun
$21,850 USD | Sold
| Portola Valley, California
12 July 2014
Weight: 50-tons (45,359-kg)
Length: 31' 10” (9.72-m)
Width: 11' 3” (3.58-m)
Height: 11' 4” (3.47-m)
Hull front: 1” (25-mm)
Turret front: .5” (13-mm)
1x 155-mm Gun M46
1x .50-cal M2HB machine gun
Engine: Continental AV-1790-5B or AV-1790-7B, 12-cylinder gasoline, 810-hp
Fuel Capacity: 380-USG (1,440-l)
Range: 150-miles (240-km)
Speed: 35-mph (56-km/h)
The vehicle being offered, M53 155-mm Self-Propelled Gun, serial number unknown, needs a complete restoration inside and out. It is currently inoperable.
With the advent of mechanized armor forces in World War II, the U.S. Army developed self-propelled artillery pieces to support these units. Vehicles such as the M7 105-mm howitzer motor carriage were built on existing tank chassis. While successful, these and other pieces were found to have too much vehicle for too little of a gun. With this in mind, post-war requirements dictated that self-propelled artillery be built with using as many components of existing vehicles for simplified logistics, while reducing their weight as much as possible.
In 1950 and 1951, Pacific Car & Foundry Company was awarded contracts to develop a new self-propelled 155-mm gun and a new self-propelled 8-inch howitzer. Designated the T97 and T108 respectively, they were built using components from the existing M47 medium tank. The first vehicles came off of the production line in August 1952. Production of both vehicles ended in April 1955. By that time, the T97 had been standardized as the 155-mm self-propelled gun M53 while the T108 became the 8-inch self-propelled howitzer M55.
Both the M53 and M55 were nearly identical to each other with only the main armament and ammunition stowage being different. In 1956, the Army started converting its M53's into M55 by changing out the gun and ammunition stowage. The M53 was never used in combat.
Transport Cost to Storage: $5,280