Stuart M3A3 light tank – lot 0127

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Light Tank Stuart M3A3 (Stuart V) HYERES

Fantastic Unit: Class A restored and one of the best on the market!

This is without any doubt according to the highest standards very nicely restored and good running tank.

In WW-II it was used by the Free French Army. In this configuration it was active in the Liberation of Paris. The current markings of the tank are therefore original and replaced after its full restoration.
The registration indicates that the tank was used by the 12th Tank Regiment, 2nd Armored Division of the French Army.
French registration number was 403526.
The name ‘Hyeres’ is most probably given by the crew. Hyères is a French commune located in the Var department, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region near Marseille.

The commune of Hyeres was also one of the targets of Operation Dragoon (initially Operation Anvil), the code name for the landing operation of the Allied invasion of Provence (Southern France) on 15 August 1944. The operation was initially planned to be executed in conjunction with Operation Overlord, the Allied landing in Normandy, but the lack of available resources led to a cancellation of the second landing.
By July 1944 the landing was reconsidered, as the clogged-up ports in Normandy did not have the capacity to adequately supply the Allied forces. Concurrently, the French High Command pushed for a revival of the operation that would include large numbers of French troops. As a result, the operation was finally approved in July to be executed in August.

The goal of the invasion was to secure the vital ports on the French Mediterranean coast and increase pressure on the German forces by opening another front. After some preliminary commando operations, the US VI Corps landed on the beaches of the Côte d’Azur under the shield of a l arge naval task force, followed by several divisions of the French Army B. They were opposed by the scattered forces of the German Army Group G, which had been weakened by the relocation of its divisions to other fronts and the replacement of its soldiers with third-rate Ostlegionen outfitted with obsolete equipment.

Hindered by Allied air supremacy and a large-scale uprising by the French Resistance, the weak German forces were swiftly defeated. The Germans withdrew to the north through the Rhône valley, to establish a stable defense line at Dijon. Allied mobile units were able to overtake the Germans and partially block their route at the town of Montélimar. The ensuing battle led to a stalemate, with neither side able to achieve a decisive breakthrough, until the Germans were finally able to complete their withdrawal and retreat from the town. While the Germans were retreating, the French managed to capture the important ports of Marseille and Toulon, soon putting them into operation.

This tank is one of the most desirable lots in the current auction.

After being decommissioned in the late sixties it stayed for many years at the Yard of Mr. Claudix Guibert in Châteauneuf-sur-Charente near Bordeaux until it was discovered in the seventies by Mr. William Davies from Cardiff UK who rescued it from the melting furnace.

After the purchase the tank was transported to the United Kingdom. Because the WT Davies Group dad in those days had an enormous arsenal of transporting equipment, this turned out to be a relatively easy task.
It was William who, together with his team and wife Deborah, who completed the vehicle again and make it running.
In those days you could buy new engines ‘in the box’ as well as many other essential and non-essential parts which greatly facilitated the restoration process.
After a couple of years William and Deborah decided to move to Southern France. To make financial resources available for the rebuilding of their French cottage the decided to sell some of their vehicles. The Stuart was sold to Mr. Jef Keuppens who had it for some years and used it in shows and parades. Finally, it was sold to another Belgium collector who performed an almost complete bolt and nut restoration of the tank. Countless hours have been invested to turn this vehicle into something truly beautiful.
The Belgium Collector was a highly respected restorer and particularly excellent skilled mechanic.
Over the years he built up small but impressive collection of Militaria, Weapons and Military
Next to that he had a great passion for classic Citroens, a number of donkeys,
Koi carp and a very special and beautiful collection of owls.

The Belgium collector finished the restoration in all the small details. During that process he also replaced the radial engine by a fully overhauled example.
Lots of effort was also invested in the completion of all tools and other equipment the roof, the entire canvas and instrumentation / wiring.
Tamiya even made a model from it (AFV Club 1:35 Kit No. AF 35053).

Despite his passion for historical heavy military material, he decided, in consultation with his family, to reduce his collection to a practical level earlier this year. Based on his positive experience and good relationship with Ivo Sr and the company BAIV he asked Tracks&Trade to take care of the sale of his Stuart Tank M3A3 and an 18 Ton High Speed Tractor M4 on an exclusive basis.

This 14 Ton Light Tank Stuart M3A3 (Stuart V), as being delivered in 1943, is a genuine WW-II survivor and comes in absolute overall in absolutely great condition.
It is very complete and original and has been restored in a very high-quality manner.
Comes with all the correct details, is a great runner and will be a wonderful addition for the serious WW-II tank collector.

It starts on the button, is an excellent runner and ready to be used. It will be delivered with Belgium road registration documents.
Not that many examples survived worldwide, especially in this great running Class A restored condition which makes this a very collectable unit. Therefore, it is, by our opinion, a particularly sound investment.

The M3 Stuart, known to the British as Stuart I or Honey (it was a “Honey” of a tank). It was an evolution of the light tank M2A4 that incorporated a trailing idler suspension to decrease ground pressure and improve weight distribution, a lengthened hull superstructure rear, and thicker armor. The turret of the M3 had three pistol ports, in contrast to the M2A4’s seven. The recoil mechanism of the Stuart was also shortened so that it did not project from the gun shield. Early production M3s had riveted turrets. A vertical gyrostabilizer was introduced in 1942.

The turrets for the M3 Stuart were changed from riveted to welded, but the bolted front plate was retained. Late production M3s had round rolled homogeneous steel turrets, and forged steel turret race rings replaced the cast steel turret rings of earlier tanks.
The cupolas on the round turrets were also round, and all cupola vision slots (“peepholes”) were eliminated, although four protected vision slots were reintroduced later. The hexagonal cupola’s single hatch was replaced with a split hatch on the round cupola. The round turrets’ pistol ports were also fitted with protectoscopes, and similar protectoscopes were also installed in the drivers’ doors outboard of the peepholes. Two 25gal (95L) jettison fuel tanks were also fitted to late-model tanks, increasing the Stuart’s range.

Some late-model M3s were fitted with turrets lacking cupolas, but these turrets did not have a basket or power traverse. These tanks had the 37mm gun M6 in the gun mount M23, but production facilities could not get switched over to installing the turret basket and power traverse mechanism fast enough.
The British dubbed these tanks Stuart Hybrid, as they were an amalgamation of the light tanks M3 and M3A1. Unfortunately, the gun mounts intended for tanks with power traverse had the independent traverse eliminated. Consequently, in Stuart Hybrids the gunner had no way to traverse his ordnance onto the target since the turret traverse was still controlled by a handwheel on the commander/loader’s side of the turret, leading to a difficult fire control situation.

The 37mm gun M6 was 6″ (15cm) longer than the earlier M5, and the M6 had a semiautomatic breechblock instead of the M5’s manual breechblock.

Remarkable was that some M3 were also equipped with a radial diesel engine. This model was named Stuart II by the British. The external difference between gasoline and diesel-powered Stuarts is the difference in length of the air intake pipes leading from the air cleaners on the rear hull to the engine compartment. The pipes on the gasoline-fueled tanks were shorter than those on the diesel tanks and curved down into the rear deck plate immediately from the air cleaners. The pipes on the diesel tanks ran across the rear deck and through the screen above the engine.
M3A1, or Stuart III, was fitted with a power traverse mechanism and a turret basket. M3A1s lacked a turret cupola, and were externally identical to Stuart Hybrids. Besides the 4410 gas-powered M3A1s, 211 M3A1s were powered by the Guiberson T-1020 diesel engine, and were called Stuart IV by the British. The first M3A1(diesel)s were accepted in August 1942. The fixed sponson machine guns were eliminated on M3A1, since tanks were often confined on roadways or by terrain, and the sponson guns could not be brought to bear in those situations. An auxiliary generator and engine was installed behind the driver.

This Stuart M3A3
M3A3, or Stuart V, was modified to have a sloped hull similar to the light tank M5 Stuart. M3A3 was also fitted with a new turret incorporating a radio bustle and larger hatches. The new hull armor gave the drivers their own hatches (previously the assistant driver had to exit through the turret), and eliminated the drivers’ doors in the front hull. The enlarged armor envelope allowed the air cleaners to be mounted internally, and two more fuel tanks were able to be incorporated into the vehicle. The M3A3’s hull can be differentiated from that of the M5 Stuart by the fact that the rear deck on the M3A3 was flat, and the upper sides on the M3A3 were sloped. The increased weight imposed by the new hull design necessitated a change in the final drive ratio from 2.41:1 to 2.57:1. Steering effort was eased by the lengthening of the steering levers.
The designation of light tank M3A2 was reserved for a design of the M3A1 which was to have a welded homogeneous steel hull, but this tank never materialized.
Production figures
In total 3427 M3A3 have been produced by American Car & Foundry Co. from September 1942. In addition 166 examples have been remanufactured or converted from previous models.












Tank Light M3A3 (Stuart V)


American Car & Foundry Co., St. Charles, Missouri, USA

Combat weight

32,400 lbs. (14.700 kg)

Gross weight

28,280 lbs. (12.830 kg)


4 (commander, gunner, driver, assistant driver)


Continental model W670-9A; 4 cycles 7-cylinder radial engine gasoline, 668 cu in. (10,95 ltr.)

– 250 hp. At 2,400 rpm

– 584 ft-lb (792 Nm) at 1,800rpm


Synchromesh, 5 speeds forward, 1 reverse

Controlled differential, steering levers,

Mechanical brakes, external contracting


Vertical volute spring suspension (VVSS)

Road wheels: 2 bogies/track; 2 wheels/bogie

Return rollers: 3/track

Max. speed

36 mph. (58 km/hr.)


Length:   197 7/8 in.     (5,03 m)
Width:    99 19/32 in.    (2,53 m)
Height:   90 5/8          (2,30 m) turret without mounts

Electrical installation

24 Volt


1 Gun 37 mm M6 (replica) No ID.

1 Gun, machine, cal. .30, M1919A5 (fixed) ID 31696
2 Gun, machine, cal. .30, M1919A4 (flexible) ID 4000 En ID 2755

1 Gun, submachine, cal. .45, M1928A1

Secondary Armament (.30 and .50 Cal) is not included


Export permit required


Technical Manuals: TM 9-727, TM 9-1726A,B,C,F

Parts List: SNL G-103

Date of Delivery


Serial Nr.



403526 ‘Hyeres’ 12th Tank Regiment, 2nd Armored Division, French Army, Liberation of Paris, 1944

US registration


Belgium road registration


Location: & Collection

Current location of this object is Deerlijk, Belgium.
Local collection is available for this lot. Depending on the destination the Buyer shall obtain an International Import Certificate / End User Certificate. Some of the items listed in the auction may require special licenses or permits.
Please email [email protected] if you have any questions or concerns.

No item will be allowed to be collected without 100% of all legal requirements being fulfilled.


Margin / VAT

This object is offered by Tracks & Trade pursuant to consignment sale on behalf of a private individual. Therefore, the margin scheme will be applicable, so no sales tax (VAT) over the hammer price will be applicable. For more info see General Conditions of Sale Article 9. 


Inspections are open on Friday June 17th and June 24th 2022 but are conducted (if applicable) in Covid -19 safe conditions:

  • Inspections will be strictly maximum 1 hour long escorted inspections,
  • Maximum of 3 customers per escorted tour,
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  • Inspection times are 9am 10am 11am 1pm 2pm 3pm 4pm,
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  • Inspections for a longer period or outside these hours can be organized for a refundable fee. (Refundable off purchase price of Auction lot).


To make a booking please reply to [email protected] at least 48 hours before the inspection with the following details:

Full Name(s) and contact details and phone number of the people that are coming to inspect. The LOT number(s) and Auction Name that you wish to inspect (items are stored on several locations, and we will need to retrieve them prior to your arrival).


Parts, accessories, and militaria

The batches of spare parts and various accessories are sold as is, stored in the best conditions and without any guarantee of functioning.



Cars and motorcycles, trucks, cannons, and armored vehicles are sold in as is condition , with or without registration.



Parts, accessories, and militaria

The collection of the lots, subject to payment, starting Monday July 11th 2022 by appointment only.



Vehicles can be picked up, subject to payment, starting Monday July 11th 2022 by appointment only.
Handling costs for the removal of the vehicles will, when applicable, be applied at cost.


Arms & weapons

The Auction House will not supply ANY item unless the correct paperwork and licensing – if needed – have supplied in full.

If required and applicable (fire)arms can be made inoperable or permanently disabled by BAIV in The Netherlands as being a licensed Arms & Weapons Dealer Registration Nr. NL20191618779. In this case all relevant cost will be charged to the Buyer in addition and have to be paid in advance in full. Collection by appointment only!


Delivery and Storage

Removal of lots must be completed by Saturday August 6th 2022 after full payment and 100% coverage of all legal requirements.
No storage fees will be applicable until that date.

Lots not picked up by Buyers before Saturday August 6th 2022 will be returned to secure storage at Buyer’s expense. In this case storage fees will be applied as follows :

  • Parts & accessories: € 25,- / lot / week
  • Cars and motorcycles: € 50,- / lot / week
  • Armored vehicles, tanks, cannons etc. € 75,- / lot / week

Storage fees are excluding VAT.


General Conditions of Sale

General Conditions of Sale Version 2.0 dated 29-04-2022 are applicable

Bids on internet

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Please use a computer to follow the live auction!



If any item listed causes offence, or is not correctly or incompletely described, please advise us immediately and we will address your concerns.

Please note this auction date may change due to unforeseen circumstances.


Nigel Hay FR

MV Historian,  Editor ,  Long term contributor to Classic Military Vehicle Magazine and Market Watcher a.o..   


Will follow soon!


Experts estimated value:             between Euro 300.000 and 350.000,- (May 2022)