According to several articles circulating the internet, a Canadian “Grizzly” M4 tank recently sold at auction for $155,000. Known as the M4A5, the Grizzly was a Canadian variant of the US M4 Sherman tank. Production of the Grizzly only proceeded to 188 copies before it was realized that US manufacturing capacity would suffice for US and Commonwealth needs. Grizzly production lines were then switched over to specialized vehicles based on the Grizzly hull such as the Sexton SPG.
According to an article from livescience.com:
The recent sale of the Canadian tank took place online via the New York-based auction platform Bidsquare. The tank was sold Wednesday (Oct. 14) by H&H Classics, an auction house that specializes in the sale of cars and motorcycles. Other Sherman tanks have been auctioned off in the U.S. in recent years. In 2014, several different variants of the Sherman tank were sold at auction. The largest of these, an M4A3E2 “Jumbo” Sherman assault tank, sold for more than $1 million.
The Grizzly, which sold for much less than the oversized assault tank, needs a bit of work to its electrical system and hydraulic cables to get it up and running, according to Bidsquare. In other words, a Canadian army tank could soon be rolling toward a town near you.
An article from the Ottawa Citizen provides more detail and photos of this particular Grizzly tank:
Reportedly used for training on both sides of the Atlantic rather than frontline combat, it is nonetheless thought that a few were deployed to Italy. Better preserved than their US contemporaries, some fifty-odd Grizzlies were sold to Portugal during the 1950s as part of the NATO military assistance programme. Demobbed three decades later several were brought back to the UK and have formed part of private and museum collections ever since.
Notable as the very first of the 188 made, CT160194 has been in the current ownership since 1984. Understood to have been used for training purposes during World War Two, the Grizzly I later saw service with the Portuguese Army. Despite reputedly participating in the Angolan War of Independence, the Sherman’s remarkable state of preservation suggests that it has never come under heavy fire. Loaned to various museums over the past thirty-one years including its present circa two decade stint at IWM Duxford, the tank is said to require minor recommissioning prior to use.
Noting that work is needed to various electric and hydraulic cables, the vendor variously rates the Grizzly as ‘excellent’ (engine, manual transmission, body), ‘excellent / good’ (paintwork) or ‘good / fair’ (interior). More complete and original than many of the Shermans that have come to market in recent years, CT160194 – a.k.a. Grizzly No.1 – has its own place in history.
One thing not mentioned in the article is that the vehicle shown in the photographs has been given a paint job which includes the name “Akilla” and the number T146929 on the side of the hull. These markings are identical to those of a Sherman tank belonging to WWII British Tank Ace George Dring. Why someone chose to put those markings on a Grizzly tanks is not entirely clear. The tank has spent the last two decades at the Imperial War Museum at Duxford.