HORTON TOWNSHIP — The auction of the world’s largest Allis-Chalmers collection brought in almost $2 million, with the highest-selling tractor bringing in $75,000.
Former dairy farmer George Nesbitt auctioned off more than 300 tractors under a fabric-covered storage structure at his quarry at Horton Township in Renfrew County over two days last month. Fifty-four tractors sold for at least $10,000 and 14 sold for at least $25,000. The July 14-15 auction included 400 registered bidders in person and online. Most were online. One 1963 Allis-Chalmers D-12 series 2 tractor sold to a bidder in California for $5,000.
The auction included two large screens for viewing the auctioned items and a large and impressive wood-panelled stage and back wall facade for the auctioneer and a team taking online bids. There were at least two teams of three taking bids from the floor. Nesbitt, 74, who first took an interest in Allis-Chalmers tractors at age six, watched much of the auction from the back.
The top three selling tractors were:
• A 1970 Allis-Chalmers 220 FWA sold for $75,000. It was known as the Landhandler, was considered ahead of its time and was the company’s largest wheel tractor at the time.
• A 1920 Allis-Chalmers 6-12 sold for $55,000. It was the oldest tractor Nesbitt owned and the second tractor ever produced by Allis-Chalmers.
• A 1984 Allis-Chalmers 4W-305 sold for $50,000. This is the biggest tractor the company ever made and one of their last models.
Nesbitt said the sale went as expected. He will keep the few items that didn’t sell, such as cotton pickers and a celery harvester.
A month before the sale, he said he’d like to make enough to buy poutine.
“Actually, we had a poutine truck at the sale,” he said after the auction. “So I bought poutine twice.”
This wasn’t the only recent auction of a vintage tractor collection. In June, 175 vintage John Deere tractors in Iowa sold for more than US $2.5 million. The highest-selling tractor there was a 1964 John Deere 8020, of which only 101 were produced. It sold for US $160,000.