9 Unusual Auction Items

  • Unusual finds

    The usual items that show up at auction sites are a fascinating aspect
    of this world of free trade. Discovering the weird and wonderful items
    that show up at sales is the fun part of participating in auctions. So
    much so that I now make time to search the back aisle at farm sales or
    search the “miscellaneous” category of online auction sites looking for
    unconventional items that trade hands. Share your unusual auction finds!

  • John Deere Scale

    John Deere Scale
    Really! John Deere DID made a livestock
    scale. But it sold over a century ago so I won’t blame anyone (including
    myself) with not knowing of the existence of this interesting sale item
    from John Deere’s past. Identified as a “Reliance 10,000-pound scale by
    John Deere Co.,” this sale item was guessed to have been manufactured
    in the early 1900s. The scale was discovered in the livestock auction
    house in Traer, Iowa. Final bid: $400

  • Massey-Ferguson Ski Whiz

    Massey-Ferguson Ski Whiz
    As editor of the Ageless Iron
    Almanac, I have a fairly solid knowledge of the history of farm
    machinery manufacturers. So I was surprised to learn that
    Massey-Ferguson sold a snowmobile in 1972. That was the year listed for
    this “Massey Ferguson Ski Whiz 440T Series II.” Judging by the model, not only did Massey sell a snowmobile but they were into
    them in a big way because this machine was listed as a “Series II.” Final bid: $225

  • Lilliputian Grain Bin

    Lilliputian Grain Bin
    This item stuck me as odd because I
    couldn’t think why a person would want to buy a miniature grain bin in
    the first place. Standing all of 10-foot tall and 7-foot wide, it turns
    out that this Stormor grain bin was never sold to a farmer. It was
    identified on the sale bill as being a “Fair Display (Salesman Sample).”
    Aha! That explains this baby grain bin. Final bid: $175

  • There was a Greyhound Tractor?

    There was a Greyhound Tractor?
    The Jim Watson Estate sale, held in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan, wasn’t the biggest auction I’ve seen. But this sale was loaded with a lot of unusual items, such as this “Greyhound 20-35” tractor. Even though the tractor’s engine was stuck, and it was designated as a “part’s tractor,” it still sold well. I discovered that the Greyhound Model 20-35 was sold by the Banting Manufacturing Company of Toledo, Ohio, between 1928 to 1929. Final bid: $8,500

  • Snowblower on steroids!

    Snowblower on steroids!
    I really wish I had taken a picture of this
    one. While walking down the aisles of Wieman Land & Auction’s
    massive summer consignment sale (held the first of August near Marion,
    South Dakota) I came across a mounted snowblower on steroids! It boasted
    two impellers which were over 5 feet tall and a cutting width of nearly
    10 feet. Driving these massive impellers was a 275 hp. six-cylinder
    Detroit Diesel. Final bid: $13,000

  • Massive hydraulic cylinder

    Massive hydraulic cylinder
    This was one of those weird items I found resting on a pallet at the Steffes Auction’s AgIron Litchfield Event held in Litchfield, Minnesota. Surrounded by the flotsam and jetsam of the back aisles was this huge hydraulic cylinder that I’m certain was never intended for farm machinery. Sure, I knew it was for some kind of construction equipment. But as the farmer standing next to me said, “that’s not something you see every day.” Final bid: $90

  • What does a transmission guard?

    What does a transmission guard?
    You know, Caterpillar makes
    crawlers that are known for their durability and strength. So I was a
    bit surprised to learn that they needed a transmission guard. Identified
    as a “used Caterpillar Model D8N transmission guard,” this component I
    later learned, served to protect transmission housings from the
    inadvertent collision with boulders or tree stumps. Final bid: $110

  • Grape harvester in Iowa?

    Grape harvester in Iowa?
    What is a grape harvester doing in
    the land of corn combines? I never discovered what this attachment’s
    back story was. But there it was, selling in Battle Creek, Iowa. I
    assume its previous owner tried their hands at growing grapes. You have
    to admit this is pretty nifty set up. The harvester, mounted on a
    Farmall 140 tractor, would pluck grapes from the vine depositing them in
    wooden crate hauled on a trailer behind the tractor. Final bid: $3,000

  • Stars & stripes for(Case)ever

    Stars & stripes for(Case)ever
    The tractor industry has a long history of painting their tractors unusual colors in promotional efforts. For example, Farmall Cubs, H, and C were painted white and some 1960 Ford motor were adorn in gold. But J.I. Case topped them all when celebrating the nation’s bicentennial. This Case 1570 was decked out in a “Sprite of ‘76” paint job. This particular tractor sold at the Dennis Brown sale conducted by Aumann Auction. Final bid: $10,000

Unique pieces sold at farm auctions this year.

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