Buyers from around the world helped drive up sale prices of military vehicles and other equipment at the National Military History Center on Saturday. Sales totaled more than $2.9 million, according to Auctions America by RM, which handled the sale for the museum in DeKalb County.
The auction company said the sale was the largest group of full- and half-track military items ever offered at public auction. Bidders from 19 countries and 34 states joined in competition that drove prices into the six figures for several vehicles. The top seller was a Daimler-Benz 12-ton half-track prime mover that sold for $200,000.
Proceeds from the sale of hundreds of military items will be used to cut the amount of debt the museum, which opened in 2003, carries, making it easier for admissions and yearly fundraising to sustain the vast building south of Auburn.
Besides improving its financial outlook, the sale also will open up more room in the facility. Opening more space moves the site closer to presenting a material history of all U.S. wars, from the Revolutionary War to the post-2001 war on terror.
All admissions from the event went to the National Military History Center. Auctions America did not disclose how much of the $2,976,605 in sales the museum would receive.