The Littlefield Collection | Lot 1065

M3A1 Stuart

$155,250 USD | Sold

United States | Portola Valley, California

12 July 2014

Addendum: PLEASE NOTE: This lot is being sold on Bill of Sale only

Weight: 14.2-tons (12,927-kg)

Length: 14' 10” (4.52-m)

Width: 7' 4” (2.23-m)

Height: 7' 10” (2.38-m)

Crew: 4


Hull front: 1.5” (38-mm)

Turret front: 1.5” (38-mm)



37-mm Gun M6


3x .30-cal machine gun M1919A4


106x 37-mm

7,220x .30-cal

Engine: Continental W-670-9A, 7-cylinder radial, 250-hp

Power/weight: 17.5-hp/ton

Fuel Capacity: Internally 54-USG (204-l) + 2x 25-gallon jettison tanks (189-l)

Range: 70-miles (112-km) or 135-miles (217-km) with jettison tanks

Speed: 36-mph (58-km/h)

The tank being offered, light tank M3A1 Stuart, serial number 7153, was built in September 1942 by American Car & Foundry Company (ACF) in Berwick, PA or by ACF in St. Charles, MO. This vehicle needs some restoration work on the outside including new wheels and tracks. The rest of the exterior benefits from a cosmetic restoration. Include s 37mm demilled cannon . Most of the main gun ammunition racks are present. The turret basket is present.

While the M3 light tank had proved to be a reliable vehicle, it was difficult to fight in as it lacked power traverse and elevation for the main armament. As an experiment, an M3 was fitted with an Oilgear hydraulic traversing mechanism and Westinghouse gyrostabilizer. Firing tests showed great promise. However, the rapidly traversing turret made it difficult for the turret crew to keep up. This was fixed by adding a turret basket with a floor and seats attached to the turret. Upon completion of successful tests at Aberdeen Proving Ground, the tank was standardized as the M3A1.

Production began at ACF in May 1942. When production ended in February 1943, 4,621 M3A1's had been completed, including 211 powered by a Guiberson T-1020 diesel engine. The M3A1 was exported to the British who designated it the Stuart III and Stuart IV (diesel). The Soviet Union also received several hundred of them.

The M3A1 first saw service with the U.S. Army in North Africa during late 1942 and continued service until the M5/M5A1 Stuarts replaced them in 1943. The British used them in Europe until the end of the war. In the Pacific, the USMC and U.S. Army used them throughout 1943 and 1944 at which time they were replaced by the M5A1 Stuart or M4 series of medium tanks.

Transport Cost to Storage: $1,716

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