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More than 200 vintage tractors at auction today

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Kayla Bunge
August 7, 2010
— It’s been a bit of a secret for the last couple years: A big name in the world of collector cars has been storing high-end classic cars in an old grocery store, and people have been pressing their noses against the glass to get a look at them.

Mecum Auctions finally is opening its doors to the public today, not for a classic car show but for its first-ever vintage tractor auction.


“Antique tractors have become valuable investment pieces, and we are excited to bring a variety of sought-after tractors to one central location for collectors to inspect, enjoy and purchase,” Dan Mecum, operations manager for the auction company, said in a press release.


More than 200 vintage tractors will be on the block, including the star of the show, a rare 1954 Farmall Super MDV TA diesel tractor. Farmall made the Super MTA for only one year. The company made only 64 of the tractors, and only 20 came with a diesel engine. The model available at the auction is perhaps one of the rarest and most sought-after tractors ever built.


A variety of tractors, from John Deere to International Harvester, from Allis Chalmers to Case, from McCormick to Oliver, will be available for bid.


“The range of things that are going to be there is incredible,” Sam Murtaugh, marketing director for the auction company, said. “There’s pretty much something for everyone from … tractors that need restoration, which will sell in the hundreds of dollars, all the way up to the star of the show … which could go for $50,000 or more.”


Mecum said he hopes to make the tractor auction an annual event.


“It depends on how everything goes … but I think, for now, the goal is to host an annual vintage tractor event,” Murtaugh said. “We’ve had a really positive response so far.”


Mecum, which has specialized in the sale of high-end collector cars since the late 1980s, bought the old Spiegelhoff’s Pick ’n Save building at 445 S. Main St. in Walworth a couple years ago and has been using it for storage of vehicles coming in and out of auctions.


The company has considered moving its headquarters from Marengo, Ill., to Walworth or using the Walworth site as an auction house.


“Nothing’s out of the question,” Murtaugh said. “We’ve always talked about moving our offices … to make that our headquarters, put all of our stuff under one roof. This (tractor auction) will be a good first run to see how an auction event goes.”


IF YOU GO


What: Gone Farmin’ vintage tractor auction hosted by Mecum Auctions


When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. today


Where: Mecum Auctions, 445 S. Main St., Walworth.


Cost: Free


Details: More than 200 vintage tractors will be on the auction block, including a rare 1954 Farmall Super MDV TA diesel tractor. Tractors are expected to go for between $500 and $50,000.


The Walworth-Fontana Rotary Club will be selling food and beverages at the auction.



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