Dawn and Don visited the Tank Farm (The Jacques Littlefield Military Vehicle Collection). More information about this wonderful collection may be found here and here.
Panzer In Shop Inside Panzer
Panzer Engine Block
The German Panzer tank above is in the shop being restored. Many parts must be re-fabricated. When the restoration of the tank is completed it is basically like new except with disabled guns and dummy ammo. All the typical things that would have been in the tank like tools are there.
Museum Buildings Museum Grounds Tanks
The museum buildings are shown above. There are 4 display buildings, each with 5 bays. There are about 6 tanks in the bay above right. In addition, there is a 5th building which is similarly sized and house the restoration shop.
WWI French Tank Many Tanks
More tanks. Some for one or two people, some for five or more people. Some tall and some short.
Tank Poster Tanker Cat
Tanker Cat Tanker Cat
Tanker Cat
A poster about tanks on the wall showing a panther(?) cat. Several pictures of the museum cat.
Many Tanks
A Real 'Thing' Cat With Mike Green, Our Guide
More tanks in the second building we went through. The cat joins our guide, Mike Green, when he was talking about tank canon shells.
Half-Track Motorcycle Kelly's Half Track
On the left above is a half track motorcycle. I bet the steering wheel really helps (not). Above right is an SdKfz8 12 Ton Prime Mover from Germany built in 1938. It was used in the movie “Kelly’s Hero’s”. Note: Some of these tanks and equipment were used in movies prior to the current owner getting them and restoring them. They aren’t used for movies now because they are being preserved and movies can be very hard on them.
Not shown, because my camera battery went dead, are the big tanks and the SCUD missle launchers. We ran out of time and only got to see three of the four diplay buildings but it still took three hours to see what we did see.
The museum isn’t really a museum, yet. It’s the private collection of Jacques Littlefield. It’s located on his estate in town of Portola Valley just West of Stanford University. While one of these tanks may only cost its scrape value of maybe $500 to buy, it may take $2 million to restore one. There are lots of tanks here. The restoration of this equipment is undertaken by paid staff. This is a dedicated collector. Just the estate would be costly. It’s in the hills (mountains for folks from the East coast). It’s adjacent to the thousands of acres of open space in the hills above Palo Alto. Needless to say, the owner isn’t hurting.
Since this is a private collection and located in, effectively, a residential area, visitation is limited to 3000 people per year. They are looking for a building somewhere nearby on the San Francisco Peninsula to house some of the tanks, possibly 100 for display. This collection is a treasure. Most of the tanks are operational. It would be great to see it open to the public for all to see like the nearby Hiller Aviation Museum.

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