The late André Lurton has a familiar name that travels well beyond the vine-filled countryside of southwestern France. Following his service in WWII (beginning as a teen in the French Resistance and, later, the First Army), he returned through war-torn lands to an equally ravaged Entre-Deux-Mers, his homeland east of Bordeaux near the river Dordogne.
Shortly thereafter, at his family’s Château Bonnet, he led an expansion of their operations by acquiring surrounding lands and chateaus. Economic resurgence soon followed in the surrounding region, due to the tourism and renown that comes with a world-class reputation for exquisite wine. Lurton’s undeniable political and viticultural talent drove him to amass a fortune that could afford the means to own a limitless array of machines, but in the midst of all of the glitz, Lurton largely resisted the temptation of high-brow automobile collecting. Rather, he remained truer to his passion for unique war relics, likely influenced by the Second World War’s imprint on him during his days as a young soldier.
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A friend of mine from England has a halftrack, a couple trucks, a tow truck just like that one, a command car, a weapons carrier, a couple jeeps and a Sherman. Personally, I think all your estimates are too low. A Sherman in that condition starts at $250K. Restored, could easily fetch 500K. Being a Ford, it would be easier to restore. The one my friend has, used the Wright aircraft engine, and those are NOT cheap or easy to find. I helped him track down parts for his collection, so I have a good handle on what he spent. Would love to see what this auction brings.
In any one-on-one battle between a Sherman and those big German tanks ... the Sherman is going to lose, this is why the tank destroyer was developed, gave us a way to deal with 'em and they did. Any advantage the Sherman's had was in sheer numbers, American industrial output was simply too hard to overcome.
I know it's not a big deal to most, but the M-10 isn't a tank. It's a "3 inch Gun Motor Carriage" or more simply a "Tank Destroyer". It's running gear is based on the Sherman, but the M-10's armor is much thinner and the turret is open on top. Two different vehicles with different missions.