A Panzer IV tank similar to the one that Allen has filed suit over.
You may remember last summer's Silicon Valley auction of tanks because it was a Silicon Valley auction of tanks. But the story has taken another turn: Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen is suing in court because, he says, he paid for a tank and didn't get one.
Allen, the billionaire who also owns the Seattle Seahawks, is alleging that he although he paid $2.5 billion for a authentic Nazi Panzer IV tank, he never received from the foundation which held the auction. Allen also bought a Soviet SCUD missile and an inoperable self-propelled Howitzer for $349,000 and $45,000, respectively.
One of Allen's firms, Vulcan Warbirds, has filed suit in the South Bay for delivery of the Panzer, which is one of only five in the United States and 38 in the world. Allen has said that he intends to display the tank at a Tom Clancey-themed petting zoo in Washington State called the Flying Heritage Collection aviation museum. The museum recently opened a 26,000-square-foot "tank arena." If you computer didn't automatically play heavy metal upon reading the words "tank arena," please click here.
No word yet on when the other pieces of military hardware in the collection amassed by the late HP engineer Jacques Littlefield will begin replacing the Google Bus. But if anyone happens to catch Dick Costolo pulling a Michael Dukakis along Market Street, please take a picture and send it to us.