Mecum’s Gone Farmin’ does $3 million at season finale sale

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1922 Waterloo Boy N tractor tops sale at $55,000 | Mecum Auctions photos
1922 Waterloo Boy N tractor tops sale at $55,000 | Mecum Auctions photos
1922 Waterloo Boy N tractor tops sale at $55,000 | Mecum Auctions photos

Nearly 2,000 people attended the Iowa Premier sale last week at the Mississippi Valley Fair Center in Davenport, where nearly 95 percent of the vintage tractors, signs, farm relics and toys offered by Gone Farmin’ division of Mecum Auctions sold for nearly $3 million.

The top sale of the auction was $55,000 (hammer price) for a 1922 Waterloo Boy N vintage tractor from the Jimmy Dillon collection. A 1939 Ford N tractor with a rare aluminum cast hood, dog legs and grille brought $53,000.

Among the tractors sold were those from five major collections.

But tractors weren’t the only objects selling for five-figure bids. A 1930 Oliver Farm Equipment sign brought $37,500.

The top toy sale of the auction was a Caterpillar D4 pedal tractor that sold for $3,000.

If there were any doubts about the popularity of vintage tractors with collectors, Mecum’s four Gone Farmin’ sales held during 2016 generated some $9.5 million in sales.

1939 Ford 9N has aluminum hood
1939 Ford 9N has aluminum hood, grille

Top 10 vintage tractor sales, Gone Farmin’ Iowa Premier 2016:

  1. 1922 Waterloo Boy N, $55,000
  2. 1939 Ford 9N, $53,000
  3. 1958 John Deere 720 Hi-Crop, $46,000
  4. 1988 John Deere 4450 FWA (Lot S112) at $46,000
  5. 1972 John Deere 4020 Hi-Crop, $36,000
  6. 1982 John Deere 4440, $35,000
  7. 1972 John Deere 4320 FWD, $34,000
  8. 1979 International 1486, $31,000
  9. 1937 Allis-Chalmers A, $30,000
  10. 1982 John Deere 4040, $26,500
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(Prices do not include buyer’s fees.)

Rare Oliver sign sells for $37,500
Rare Oliver sign sells for $37,500

The sale ended Gone Farmin’s 2016 calendar. Its next auction is its annual Spring Classic, scheduled for March 30-April 1, 2017, in Davenport, Iowa.

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A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.