Jacques Littlefield passed away last Wednesday in Portola Valley. He was well known for having one of the largest private collections of military vehicles in the world and someone who championed open space in the mid-Peninsula. He was 59 years old and had been battling colon cancer for a number of years. Some of us were lucky enough to visit his collection and others to attend events or parties where some of his equipment was on display. His willingness to share his collection with historians, journalists and veterans and a few COWS, as well as his service on numerous boards, including those at the Cate School, Coyote Point Museum, Hoover Institution, California Academy of Sciences and the Filoli estate made him a real asset to our COWmunity.
We are reprinting a portion of his obituary which we found at this website which describes his collection. “ Jacques’ fascination with armored vehicles began in his childhood when he started building plastic models of tanks. While in college, he built his first scale model, radio-controlled tank. He acquired his first full-sized vehicle in 1975. In 1998 Jacques set up the Military Vehicle Technology Foundation to manage his collection of over one hundred fifty vehicles and restore new additions. The collection ranges from a World War II era U.S. Army M3A1 wheeled scout car, the first acquisition, to a Soviet-era mobile Scud Missile launcher, and includes such famous tanks as the U.S. Sherman and Patton class; U.K. Centurion, Conqueror and Chieftain; German WWII vehicles including a Panther; and Soviet-era Russian tanks. The complete inventory is available here. Jacques was considered a scholar and expert on the history of armored warfare and the foundation helps serve the interests of authors, historians, educators, the defense industry, veterans groups, model makers and the entertainment industry. The collection is housed at Pony Tracks Ranch in the hills above Portola Valley, which the family acquired in the mid-1970s. Pony Tracks was the country estate of former San Francisco mayor and California governor James “Sunny Jim” Rolph, Jr. Over the years, Jacques restored many of the old buildings on the ranch, such as the stables, and acquired additional property helping to maintain open space in the hills above Portola Valley.”