2012 - Volume #36, Issue #6, Page #23[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Rare Tractors Bringing Record Prices
“We broke our own previous world record high price for a rare tractor, which was a 3060 Case that sold for $420,000 a few years ago,” says Kurt Aumann, Aumann Auctions.
Aumann is a leader in rare tractor auctions, doing around 30 a year with tractors or tractor-related equipment. A visit to the company website links to past auctions, like the Lake Side Farms auction. It included the Mogul, as well as the Deere Spoke and 112 other items from old magnetos to stationary and portable engines.
An auction held earlier this summer was called Field of Dreams. The Nebraska estate auction included 193 old tractors, parts of tractors, cars, trucks, grain binders, threshing machines and more. The former owner had started collecting the equipment in the mid 1950’s, storing most of it in an open field. The most expensive item out there was a Minneapolis Threshing Machine Co. 22-44 3644. It sold for $75,000, unrestored and missing its radiator.
A frame and a set of wheels for a tractor built in Nebraska in the 1910’s, sold for $17,500. Aumann estimated restoration would run into 6 figures, as it would require fabricating parts no longer available.
All Aumann auctions are simulcast online so people elsewhere can bid on items at the auction. A growing number are online only, such as the recent Paul Hale Collection of 41 tractors. It included not one, but two, rare Minneapolis Moline UDLX’s, the first cab tractor. Bidders and others could watch from day to day as bids increased. One UDLX brought $155,000, and the other $90,000.
“Online auctions are a great tool for sellers who are in an out-of-the-way place or for several people, when none have enough items for an auction of their own and don’t want to have to move their tractors to a central site,” explains Aumann. “With online auctions we get more international buyers. They don’t have to pack up and go to an auction in a far away place. The international arena is a growth area, not just for antiques, but newer farm equipment and even land sales.”
Aumann has yet to hold an auction in Europe, but he has plenty of regular customers from Europe, Australia and elsewhere bidding at his auctions.
“We sell a tremendous amount overseas,” he says.
Aumann, founding publisher of Belt & Pulley, an antique tractor magazine, is also a tractor buff. Many of the company staff are, too. His one rule is to not buy at his own auctions. Most of his tractors were purchased privately. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t get a thrill at rare tractor auctions.
“It’s very exciting to see really desirable, rare tractors,” says Aumann. “The excitement builds, the history of the tractor comes out, and the crowd competes to win it. As an enthusiast, I relate to the buyers and recognize that none of us are really owners. We are just caretakers of this equipment.”
When the current caretakers of tractors purchased at his auctions are ready to sell, Aumann will be ready to pass them on, perhaps at new world record prices.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Aumann Auctions, Inc., 20114 Illinois Route 16, Nokomis, Ill. 62075 (ph toll free 888 282-8648; www.aumannauctions.com).
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