BB Video: "Tank Tour" - One of World's Largest Collections of Historic Military Technology

(Download MP4 / Watch on YouTube )

In today's edition of Boing Boing Video, guest-host Todd Lappin explores a massive collection of historical military vehicles tanks collected by an eccentric Silicon Valley multimillionaire. The recently-departed Jacques Littlefield amassed one of the world's largest and most significant collections of this type, and his collection is now overseen by the nonprofit Military Vehicle Technology Foundation. Snip from their description:

Our goal is to acquire, restore, and interpret the historical significance of 20th and 21st century military vehicles. Domestic and foreign combat vehicles such as tanks, armored cars, self-propelled artillery, and other technically interesting mobile platforms are the focus of the collection. We also maintain an extensive technical library that describes many vehicles down to the part level. Aside from the vehicles, there are towed artillery, antitank, and antiaircraft guns. Military support equipment, inert ordnance, and accessories round out the collection.
The foundation is supported by public donations, and you can make one at their website if you dig what they do. To make arrangements for tours, you can email tours.mvtf at To arrange access to the collection for commercial purposes: permissions.mvtf at

The "tank tour" BBV shot for this episode was organized by BB pal Karen Marcelo and Dorkbot SF. They put on interesting events like this every month! Karen says,

June, 2009 is the 7 year anniversary of dorkbotSF. We have two cool events coming up, hope the some of the Boing Boing readers will come out for them! First one is jun 3 - at Greg Leyh's lightning lab. A live demo of scaled-down model of greg's 12-story Tesla coils, debut of Marc Powell's new software, and cool light printer from Jonathan Foote.

Then Jon Sarriugarte is hosting a big bash on the 20th! snail car, muffin cars, tesla roadster makers, fireworks, omega recoil's tesla coils, blacksmithing, etc. and he said more surprises he doesnt want to mention in advance!

Where to find Boing Boing Video: RSS feed for new episodes here, YouTube channel here, subscribe on iTunes here. Get Twitter updates every time there's a new ep by following @boingboingvideo, and here are blog post archives for Boing Boing Video.

(Thanks to Boing Boing's video hosting partner Episodic, and to shooter-producer extraordinaire Eddie Codel and to our host Todd Lappin.)


  1. Aww no footage of my favorite car the the schwimmwagen, 2nd favorite is the bridge layer. Cool stuff though, I almost made it down their a month ago but my car died enroute. I have try again soon, RIP Jacques Littlefield.

  2. I had the pleasure of getting a tour in ’04 and Mr. Littlefield was a terrific host. One thing I didn’t see on the video was the fact that, parked out front, he had one of the propellers off of the Luisitania. He had apparently underwritten some sort of tour of Luisitania materials in the 1990s, I guess, and when the tour went bankrupt, ended up with the propeller.

    Terrific guy and a fantastic museum. Importing a SCUD launcher was apparently the thing that gave him the biggest headache.

  3. There is an amazing military museum with so many tanks and planes from apartheid and nazi and south african and british and other countries armies in Johannesburg in South Africa. i took a wander around there in between some meetings last time I was there and was blown away.

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