Jacques Littlefield was the premier private collector of restored tanks and military vehicles in the world. His love of military technology led him to found the Military Vehicle Technology Foundation.
His tanks sit locked away in six warehouses totalling 70,000 square feet on 470 acres of rolling hills in the heart of Silicon Valley. Inside the 5,000 square feet of garage and work space, a 15-ton overhead crane takes out turrets and removes engines.
Nine full-time mechanics restore four tanks at a time, typically, over a two-year stretch. While another collector might get his kicks thrashing his Sherman through the mud or parading it down Main Street on Veterans' Day, Littlefield rarely takes his out for fear that they may "leave a mark on the street" or "annoy the neighbors." Besides, he could wreck the precious hardware.
Every detail of the tanks he restores must be perfect--the color of paint on each handle, extra ammo stowed in the back corner of the turret, the props for the canvas cover that was likely never used in battle.
In 2001 he project was restoring a Sturmgeschutz III. It required the fabrication of 250 parts, not including the original manufacturer's logo-marked nuts and bolts.
In Spring of 2008 I was privileged to vist his museum and his StuG III.
Sturmgeschütz III/40 ausf. G Chassis number: 92475, manufactured by Alkett ~ May 1943.
This vehicle served in the Finish army from 1943 on where is carried the registration-number of "Ps.531-16". Now the vehicle resides with the Jacques Littlefield, The Military Vehicle Technology Foundation, Portola Valley, California. The StuG is restored to the original German colour-scheme and the condition it was in when arriving in Finland in 1943 (the exception being the gun's travel lock, which in this particular case is a Finnish post-war addition.