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First Case Gas Tractor Sells For $1.47 Million!
“I never in all my life thought I’d see a single tractor sell for nearly one-and-a-half million dollars, but that’s exactly what happened at Aumann’s Pre-30 Auction on April 29, 2022,” says Nelson Aumann, who founded the auction company that bears his family name. “The 1913 Case 30-60, the first of the original 500 gasoline engine tractors built by the J.I. Case company, and one of only five known in existence now, was sold to an undisclosed collector in the Northeastern U.S.”
The other four 30-60s are held by different collectors or in museums. The seller had his tractor completely restored in the early 2000’s and had shown it at old iron events in several U.S. locations over the years.
“The previous record for the most expensive antique tractor sold was a 1910 Marshall Colonial Class C that we sold for $535,000 in 2019,” says Nelson’s son Kurt, who now owns Aumann Auctions. “The prices are driven by historical significance, scarcity, and willing collectors who want something extremely rare,” Kurt says. “New collectors of all ages are starting to buy every year, and that just makes the market hotter.”
The 6th annual Pre-30 Auction where the 30-60 sold was the largest and most diverse auction the Aumanns have ever held says the company’s marketing director Tyson Reed.
“We’ve had an amazing buildup in buyers of different ages and occupations and have sold collector tractors all over the globe,” Reed says. “Many of the new buyers didn’t grow up in agriculture, but they recognize quality and collectability when they see it.”
Aumann Auctions began selling old iron about 25 years ago, about the time Kurt became interested in farm toys, memorabilia, old equipment literature, and old owner’s manuals. It was also the dawn of the internet, and the company began selling those items online, which eventually led to online equipment auctions. Now the company has 30 employees, three divisions, and conducts more than 200 live and online auctions a year, selling antique equipment, memorabilia, toys, land, real estate and personal estates.
Reed says the company’s business has grown because its reputation is grounded in friendly and professional service. “For the Pre-30 auctions we bring about 95 percent of all the tractors to our Nokomis facility, have our mechanical staff examine them, fill out disclosure statements and make those available for potential buyers to preview before the auction,” says Reed. “We don’t deal in secrets because both the buyer and the seller have to be happy.”
Items for most of the other auctions they conduct stay with the seller where they’re photographed, cataloged and prepped for sale. “Our team goes to those sites to inspect and get a hands-on look, evaluate, and answer questions from potential buyers.”
The Case 30-60 sold for about $2,500 when it was new in 1913. Kurt Aumann says today’s prices are all about perceived value, which only goes up as more collectors are interested in rare items and estates or trusts of older collectors are being liquidated. “The demand is there, and the supply is low; a perfect situation,” he says.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Aumann Auctions, 20114 Illinois Route 16, Nokomis, Ill. 62075 (ph 888-282-8648; www.aumannauctions.com.; www.classictractorstv.com).

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2022 - Volume #46, Issue #5