The Auction of the Century

By Staff
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P.O. Box 309, 7506 South Main Street Road, Cedar Falls, Iowa
50613

The world’s largest auction of antique tractors, cars and
gas engines, privately owned, was sold at auction September 24, 25,
26, 27, 1986 at the Arthur Bright Pioneer Museum, Le Grand,
California.

Over 5,500 people were counted going through the gates in the
four day event. One thousand one hundred registered bidders came
from various parts of the world, including Holland, England,
Canada, and all parts of the United States.

The first day, 450 general antiques were sold ranging from
washing machines to Hi-Wheel buggies, tread mills, mowing machines,
a piano, an organ, and a refrigerator. Six hundred people filled
the seats. Four hundred fifty lots were sold from 9:15 a.m. until 1
p.m.

The second day, 450 pieces of farm machinery was sold, starting
at 9:02 a.m. and was over at 11:20 a.m., with 250 bidders present.
Overall. prices were very good. Much of the machinery was bought by
scrap yards with a lot of it going to various museums and major
shows. The bailers, mowing machines, and thrash machines found
their way to all parts of the country.

At 4:00 p.m., 650 people filled the area to buy 150 gas engines.
Prices from $2,500 and down filled the air. The Crossley was under
market value while other engines were above the average market.

The third day, 700 tractors hit the auction block starting at 9
a.m. in the morning, and at 3 p.m. in the afternoon, 700 tractors
had changed hands, many of them going overseas and to all parts of
the United States. Prices were very good and way above market value
in some areas, a little lighter in others. Approximately 2,500
people were in attendance.

The fourth day at 9 a.m., 250 cars and trucks, as well as 100
lots of car parts were kicked off, with prices being a little light
on a couple of the top end and extremely high on some of the low
end cars.

We would have to say that the auction came off flawlessly, with
no confusion. Everything went as planned.

A listing will be put together with a general resume of the
auction. including pictures and prices of many pieces. We will not
publish the total amount of the sale but we will offer a great deal
of price information without the name of the buyer. We will publish
the prices of approximately 300 tractors, the majority of the gas
engines, and many individual prices on the cars. This list will
cost $11.00 to anyone who is interested.

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Preserving the History of Internal Combustion Engines