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Uncovering the Magic Of Classic Tractor Auctions

By Tom Seest

What Makes Classic Tractor Auctions So Special?

At ClassicTractorNews, we help classic tractor lovers keep up with the latest news for classic and vintage tractors.

Restored 1904 Case 30-60 tractor sold at auction recently for an astonishing amount, breaking Australia’s previous record for antique tractor auction sales.
An effective auction day begins well before the gavel drops; planning your route, prepping your vehicle, and setting an allowance are essential elements to its success.

What Makes Classic Tractor Auctions So Special?

What Makes Classic Tractor Auctions So Special?

Unearthing History: What Can a 1917 Willmar Little Oak Tractor Reveal?

At auctions of classic tractor models, the 1917 Willmar Little Oak stands out. This tractor stands out due to its innovative use of piston engines instead of more common rod-and-piston ones; as a result, it offered superior power output while remaining more compact and lightweight than previous tractors.
Little Oak engines were built to operate with either gasoline or kerosene fuel, which could be mixed at any ratio. A unique feature of the Little Oak was a pair of carburetors capable of independently controlling how much fuel would reach each cylinder. This provided users with dual fuel capability, allowing them to select the ideal combination for any given situation.
Little Oak was notable for several unique aspects. These included its plowshares with pins that would shear off upon hitting rocks, meaning less chance for breaking. Other oddities included its hood louvers being hand hammered out rather than using a press; this resulted in noticeable hammer dents, which visitors today can still detect.
Mecum Auctions was delighted to host The Little Oak auction at George and June Schaaf Tractor and Truck Museum in Willmar, Minnesota, in October of 2022; it sold for $420,000. Mecum is thrilled that their partnership with them continues in future auctions! Collectors and enthusiasts of Minnesota history alike should seize this rare opportunity to bolster their collections while helping preserve a piece of Minnesota history. The Little Oak is truly rare machinery and will make an invaluable addition to the Schaaf collection. Mecum auction events provide something for everyone at its auctions – from entry-level collector tractors that cost several thousand dollars to high-end ultra-rare machines like this one – with offerings ranging from entry-level collector tractors that cost several thousand to ultra-rare ultra-rare machines like this one – something for all types of bidders to enjoy at Mecum events. Bidders may place bids online, by phone, proxy bidding, or attend in person at auction sites themselves; those unable to attend can watch the live-streaming event online at Mecum’s website if streaming tickets allow.

Unearthing History: What Can a 1917 Willmar Little Oak Tractor Reveal?

Unearthing History: What Can a 1917 Willmar Little Oak Tractor Reveal?

How Much is a 1913 Case 30-60 Worth?

While most people know that cars can fetch millions, some might be surprised to learn of an emerging market for old tractors – selling for six figures at auctions!
Recent auction sales include the record-setting sale of a 1913 Case 30-60 for $1,470,000. This unprecedented sale marked an extraordinary turning point in antique tractor history, marking it as the most expensive ever sold at auction and representing a massive change to antique tractor collecting culture. Only around five of these historic models manufactured by Case are believed to remain today. Auctioned through Aumann Auctions’ Pre-30 online auction service and purchased for a private collection in the Northeast United States.
The Case 30-60 is an incredible machine, boasting a four-cylinder engine producing up to 28 horsepower, two-speed transmission, and the capacity to pull more than one ton. As one of the cornerstones of agricultural history, its sale by Aumann Auctions’ Kurt Aumann marks an important milestone for their company and stands as an investment-worthy machine that will continue increasing in value over time.
Despite its age, this tractor remains in superb condition. Its paint job remains immaculate, while all original parts remain present and operational. Furthermore, the tractor can still be used for various tasks on a farm: cultivating fields, hauling wood, or even helping with logging operations will all be possible with this versatile tool.
For optimal operation, buyers will need to hire an inspector and fixer to inspect and check on the vehicle and identify any problems. Furthermore, licensing and insurance will need to be obtained so as to legally drive on public roads with their tractor. Furthermore, regular maintenance appointments should be scheduled with an experienced mechanic so as to repair any potential issues with it as needed.

How Much is a 1913 Case 30-60 Worth?

How Much is a 1913 Case 30-60 Worth?

Rare 1924 Minneapolis 35-70: What Makes It So Special?

At auctions, few tractors can elicit such large bids as the Minneapolis 35-70. Constructed between 1930 and 1944 as a large gas-powered workhorse, it boasts an outstanding track record for reliability and ease of operation, making it one of the few versatile pieces on offer that can do virtually every task on any farm.
Mike Smasal will feature his Minneapolis 35-70 at the Western Minnesota Steam Threshers Reunion Auction in Rollag, Minn, during Labor Day weekend. It is one of only a handful in working condition, according to Smasal, who has spent months getting it ready. Smasal had help from three states coming out to make sure it looked its best; their goal was to restore it as close to the original as possible.
Mecum Auctions of Walworth, Wisconsin, hosts the most classic tractor auctions. Each Mecum auction draws thousands of bidders from all across the country and provides online bidding and live streaming so buyers can participate from anywhere around the globe.
Prices of rare tractors can easily soar into the hundreds of thousands, as evidenced by recent auctions at Mecum, where rare Case 30-60 tractors sold for $1 this May; other tractors have gone for six-figure sums, such as when Case 40/72S tractor designed to plow virgin land was auctioned off in 2023 for $294,000 with its advertised slogan being, ‘Thirty horses can’t do what this one will do!’ Additionally, during that same year a 1924 Minneapolis 35-70 sold for $283500 which was part of George and June Schaaf Tractor and Truck Museum auction which featured 638 lots, including tractors, trucks signs and dolls!

Rare 1924 Minneapolis 35-70: What Makes It So Special?

Rare 1924 Minneapolis 35-70: What Makes It So Special?

1913 Hart-Parr 30-60: What Makes it So Special?

Hart-Parr, one of the pioneering tractor brands, started introducing innovations that cemented its place in history, starting with their 1917 Willmar Little Oak tractor, dubbed a one-man tractor due to its ability to start, raise, and lower the plow with one hand only controls. Furthermore, this machine pioneered the use of induced-draft radiators, allowing greater cooling efficiency. Also in 1908 Hart-Parr debuted their first overhead cam engine which became known for its reliability – earning itself the name “Old Reliable.
Hart-Parr was a major force in the tractor industry by 1910, boasting numerous engineering innovations. Their 30-60 tractor featured an overhead cam and induced-draft radiator, becoming its best-seller (493) between 1911 and 1916 at their Charles City, Iowa factory despite an inability to meet demand. They even dabbled with car manufacturing, creating at least two prototypes.
Hart-Parr’s advances were most notably evidenced in its engine design, which featured an engine with the centerline of its crankshaft placed beneath that of its cylinder head to reduce vibration while engineers installed intake and exhaust valves between rocker arms for easier engine use – an innovative configuration which foreshadowed modern automotive engines.
Another early innovation was a system using gasoline for starting and kerosene as fuel, with both combined using a carburetor, ignited via magneto, with water added as a pre-ignition preventer. This innovation allowed farmers to save on fuel costs during World War I.
Collectors are willing to shell out huge sums in order to acquire these rare tractors, which have become harder and harder to locate as the hobby expands and demand grows. At an auction recently held by Classic Tractor Auctions (CTTA), one rare 1913 Hart-Parr 30-60 sold for $278,250, which was the highest bid.

1913 Hart-Parr 30-60: What Makes it So Special?

1913 Hart-Parr 30-60: What Makes it So Special?

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