These rusty iron buyers helped boost economy


This past fall, Oct. 23-24, to be exact, Aumann Auctions were in charge of dispersing the large collection of antique tractors and paper ephemera belonging to Gary Parker of Churubusco, Ind. It was a large sale and, although I wasn’t there, it’s interesting to review the prices realized for some of this “Rusty Iron.”

What recession?

It seems that not everyone is suffering from the economic downturn that keeps the talking heads on the TV screen busily employed.

The first day of the sale was given over to Mr. Parker’s extensive collection of old farm machinery signs, catalogs, magazines and sales literature, which, in my opinion, brought a lot of money.

This stuff was divided into 211 lots, which realized a grand total of a little over $30,000.

The two most expensive items were both metal signs; an IHC Mogul kerosene tractor sign in good condition brought $3,300, while an embossed Case sign showing “77 Modern Machines for Profitable Farming” with a wooden frame and some surface scratches was hammered down for $2,200.

Paper chase

A sales catalog for IHC Mogul tractors, including the 20 and 25 HP Type C models as well as a color center fold illustration of the 45 HP Mogul, fetched $600.

Another lot containing a copy of the Husker, a magazine published by the Minneapolis-Moline Company, that featured the M-M UDLX Comfort Tractor, along with some Gleaner 6-foot combine literature, was taken away by a lucky buyer for just $500!

Six issues of Gas Power magazine, from 1913 and 1914, none of which were in perfect condition with various creases, rips and smudges, sold as separate lots and brought an amazing total of $540.

A few miscellaneous items, such as equipment repair lists, magazine ads and letterheads went for $25 each, while the only item for less than that was a 1918 thresher supplies catalog from the Penn Jones Implement Works for just $10.

Bring on the iron

On Saturday, the Aumann crew got down to serious business and ran 206 lots, including, I think, 112 tractors, through the auction ring.

Other items included 25 engines and power units, two Sattley prairie gang plows, a 4-bottom and a 6-, two Delco light plants, and two Buffalo-Springfield road rollers, one steam and one gas powered.

There were several plow guides for the big prairie tractors, many sets of steel wheels and some other miscellaneous treasures, including the chassis for a rare Gile tractor that brought $3,000.

The auction report doesn’t say which Gile tractor it was, but the company started building tractors in Ludington, Mich., in 1913 with a 2-cylinder 10-20 model and in 1918 they introduced a 4-cylinder 15-25.

Top tractor

The highest price paid for any of the tractors at the sale was $275,000 for a 1912 IHC 45 HP Mogul in nearly original condition, not running, but seemingly all there.

The Mogul was reportedly bought by George Schaff, who also shelled out $140,000 for a 1911 Hart-Parr 30-60 “Old Reliable” in good, original running condition that I’ve seen at the Portland, Ind., show.

Restored Galloway

A very rare, maybe four or five known to exist, Galloway Farmobile that had been freshly restored right before the auction was hammered down at $165,000.

A pretty sight in its bright red and green paint with gold stripes and lettering, the Galloway was said to still need some mechanical work.

Other tractors over the $100,000 mark were a restored 1910 IHC Mogul 20 HP, $140,000; a 1914 Advance-Rumely Model F one-cylinder Oil Pull with an older restoration, $110,000, and an unrestored 1938 Minneapolis-Moline UDLX with solid, straight sheet metal, $105,000.

New owners

Among the next tier, a buyer from Belgium bought a nicely restored early 1920s Minneapolis 22-44 that I’ve also seen at Portland, for $85,000, while a very rare Gray 22-40 drum-drive from about the same vintage brought $85,000 as well.

An Aultman-Taylor 30-60, $90,000; a restored Waterloo Boy with no tag, $75,000; an original Case 20-40, $65,000; a Massey Harris #2 Crossmotor, $85,000; and an IHC 10-20 Mogul with an older restoration, $50,000.

A super rare Kardell, believed to be the only surviving example, was knocked down for $75,000, and a 3-wheeled Emerson-Brantingham Model L went for $55,000.

An IHC Titan 15-30, original but not running, $45,000; the plow guide for this machine brought $1,100; a 1924 John Deere spoker D, $40,000; and a Twin City 16-30, unrestored and in rough shape, brought $42,000.

Two rare and unrestored Fageol tractors, an orchard model without an engine and a regular brought $4,250 and $5,000, respectively, while an unrestored Hart-Parr 15-30 made $8,500 and a restored Hart-Parr 18-36, $9,000.

International rules

Among the most expensive engines, all Internationals, was a restored 1907, 15 HP Famous hit and miss, $19,000; a restored 1914, 12 HP Mogul Giant side-shaft, $16,000; an unrestored 1912, 15 HP hit and miss Mogul, $15,500; a 1917, 4 HP Titan side-shaft on a truck and restored, $15,000; and a 15 HP throttle governed Famous from 1915, $10,000.

A super rare Flint & Walling pump jack engine was taken home by a lucky buyer for $5,000. A John Deere 6 HP engine realized $5,000, while a JD 3 horse on a truck made $3,000 and a couple of JD 1 1/2 horses went for $1,200 each.

The Delco light plants were the cheapest things at the sale — a large one went for $50 and a smaller one for just $30.

The two Sattley plows brought $3,250 for the six and $3,000 for the four bottom, while the Buffalo-Springfield rollers fetched $22,500 for the restored steam version and $3,250 for the original gas powered model.

All in all, Mr. Parker expressed himself well pleased with the outcome of the sale, as, I’m sure was Kurt Aumann and company as well.

I forgot to mention, that on top of the prices paid during the bidding, each successful buyer was whacked with a 5 percent “buyer’s premium.” Just why a buyer should have to pay a premium for the privilege of buying what both the owner and the auctioneer want to sell, I’ve never been able to understand.


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Sam Moore grew up on a family farm in Western Pennsylvania during the late 1930s and the 1940s. Although he left the farm in 1953, it never left him. He now lives near Salem, where he tinkers with a few old tractors, collects old farm literature, and writes about old machinery, farming practices and personal experiences for Farm and Dairy, as well as Farm Collector and Rural Heritage magazines. He has published one book about farm machinery, titled Implements for Farming with Horses and Mules.



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