Old equipment auctions are nothing new: Just take a look through
the advertisements in any given issue of Steam Traction or
its sister publications Gas Engine Magazine and Farm
Collector. You’ll see auctions of various size and scope
listed in just about every issue.
Unfortunately, as much as we like attending auctions, most of
them end up being too far away for us to take in. Every now and
then, however, a good auction takes place in our neck of the woods,
and such was the case Oct. 25, 2003. That was the day that Michael
Wurm of the M.R. Wurm Historical Farming Foundation, Meriden, Kan.,
auctioned off some 75 pieces of vintage farm equipment, including
the three steam traction engines shown here. According to Michael
Wurm, the sale was ‘an inventory reduction’ of the
foundation’s large collection of vintage machinery.
From top to bottom, the three engines were: New Huber 18-50,
serial no. 10141, Kansas certified at 140 psi; 1923 Keck-Gonnerman
19 HP, serial no. 1694, Kansas certified at 135 psi; and a Case 65
HP, serial no. 34858.
The Keck-Gonnerman sold for $17,000, and the New Huber went for
$9,000. At press time, we weren’t able to confirm the price for
Regardless, these were three very nice engines, and their
selling prices seemed very much in line with current trends. The
highest price paid at the auction was for a very rare Tillsoil
18-30 (above 4th picture), which sold for $77,500.