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tank
The Panzer IV tank at issue in this dispute. (Photo Credit: Auctions America).

Paul Allen is finding it very difficult to acquire this tank.

Paul Allen
Paul Allen

The 28-ton Panzerkampfwagen IV, better known as the Panzer IV, was used by Nazi Germany in World War II. These tanks are now very rare, especially in the United States, and the staff at the Microsoft co-founder’s Flying Heritage Collection museum in Everett, Wash., was searching for one for more than five years.

According to a lawsuit filed this week in California, Allen’s company reached a deal to purchase a Panzer IV for $2.5 million in July from the non-profit Collings Foundation that controls the noted Littlefield Collection of military vehicles in Portola Valley, Calif. The deal was finalized, the wire transfer was made … and the seller refuses to deliver.

That’s the allegation in the lawsuit filed this week in San Mateo County Superior Court by Vulcan Warbirds, the Paul Allen company that acquires military vehicles for display at the Flying Heritage Museum. The suit says that the Collings Foundation is refusing to release the tank until it can find a replacement, despite the fact that there were no contingencies in the agreement, and the chances of the Collings Foundation acquiring a replacement anytime soon are very slim.

We’ve contacted the auction house, Auctions America, for comment. The suit was first reported by the L.A. Times and San Francisco Chronicle.

Here’s the full complaint from San Mateo County Superior Court.

Vulcan Warbirds vs. Collings Foundation

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