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Legendary tractor collection to be auctioned
Canandaigua, N.Y. - A week from today, it might be hard to find a hotel room in or around Canandaigua. People started booking them as soon as they heard that a fourth generation Canandaigua farmer had decided to sell his legendary tractor collection.
Jim Erdle started stockpiling tractors for fun in the early 1960s. Before he knew, he had four barns full. The oldest, and Jims favorite, is a 1912 Rumely, which he bought for $2700 dollars in Regina, Saskatchewan. He figures hes spent about $30,000 on that tractor alone, plus countless hours, over the years. Its one of about 225 tractors that will be put up for auction over three days, starting next Friday, at Erdles farm on Parrish Street in Canandaigua.
News of the auction has spread far and wide. Collectors from across the country, Europe and even Tasmania have plans to be in town to bid. Erdle says Theres a very good market. A lot of people with deep pockets, and theyre full!
Auctioneer Kurt Aumann, of Illinois, is already in town with a small army of employees preparing for the sale. Aumann says Jim to the tractor hobby is like Babe Ruth to baseball. This auction is going to be like the World Series and the All Star Game all together.
Erdle says friends are concerned about the emotional toll the auction could take on him. The 85-year old grew up farming in Canandaigua, before getting into the vending machine business. But he never got rid of his tractors, until now.
Im not going to cry, Erdle says. I think Im going to enjoy it.
Advice from another collector helped him make the decision to sell. He told me he sold his because he felt he could do a better job than his widow could. So I guess that's where I am. He jokes that his wife never minded the tractors. Well she told somebody once that as long as she had money enough, she didn't care what I done." Erdle laughs after saying this. His wife Anne was standing a few hundred feet away, watching the mechanics, auctioneers and old friends who were there today helping the Erdle family get ready for the sale.
Theres a preview for buyers next Thursday. The auction will be under a tent Friday, Saturday and Sunday, September 20, 21 and 22. It will be broadcast on the internet for bidders who cant make the trip to Canandaigua.
More information is available at www.aumannauctions.com