The Sherman M4 is one of the most famous and brilliant combat tanks of the Second World War. Succeeding the M3 from 1941, it was distinguished by a 360° rotating turret with 75mm gun.
Production of this model continued until April 1945, undergoing various modifications and evolution’s during this time, such as the first moulded hull, which were subsequently welded, and various different engines.
The example presented is a M4A1 ” Grizzly “, which was a version manufactured by General Steel in the US and assembled in Canada by Montreal Locomotive Works.
188 examples were produced between October 1943 and December 1944. It was based on the American M4 Sherman tank, with several modifications. Notably, it had thicker, more sloping armour and was fitted with dry pin tracks without rubber. It retained the 9-cylinder Continental Type R-975 radial engine.
André Lurton acquired this example having memories of encountering similar tanks during the Second World War. Partially restored, it has been fitted with US model tracks.
It no longer has its original engine, but a Continental type R-975 C1 engine comes with it, which is missing accessories and peripherals and will require a complete overhaul.
The moulded hull, typical of this version, still has its extra armoured plates on either side and a three-part front section that is specific to the early models.
The driver and co-driver hatches, the front siren support, the seat for the cannon and the armoured air-extraction cover on the co-driver’s side are also specific to this model. The fuel caps are also present and original.
The commander’s cupola, a single-door, glazed model dating from the end of the war, is not original – the M4 Sherman Grizzly was normally fitted with a double-hatched cupola with periscope.
Inside, the driver and co-driver’s seats are correct, as are the steering and braking controls, but the manually-operated fuel pump used to boost the starting of the Continental engine, is missing. The control panel comes from an M4A3 Sherman and has been modifed to include switches from another source.
The original 30-calibre machine gun mounting, attached with a ball-joint movement, is still present on the co-driver’s side.
The turret engine, the distributor and its hydraulic reservoir are present as is the control handle.
The mechanical rotation system for the turret is missing however. The elevation mechanism for the cannon is complete and original, with its graduated brass wheel, but the electric motion firing mechanism specific to the Sherman Grizzly model is absent.
The scope holder and the 30-calibre machine gun are original. The seat of the pointer – shooter also. The “rotating joint” electrical supply is also present at the bottom of the hull.
The breech-barrel assembly is original and the breech mechanism has been taken out.
The turret is in quite good original condition and includes storage boxes, and supports for the grenade launcher, TL lamp and periscopes.
Part of the electrical wiring system is still present, the counter-balancing weights for the breech assembly on the cannon also. The trigger controls on the gun and machine gun are also original and in good condition.
An excellent base for a partial project, or full restoration for the diligent enthusiast, this Sherman presents all the characteristics of the first generation version and therefore will appeal to collectors. Sherman tanks rarely come up for sale, being exchanged amongst experts, making this a particularly interesting opportunity.
Note to the buyers:
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We inform buyers that all the vehicles in the collection have been rarely used during the last years as they are part of a museum collection.
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They are sold as presented and therefore require at the minimum recommissioning before being driven on the public roads.