1,000 tractor fans from 23 states flock to estate auction
More than 1,000 persons from 23 states came to the Calvin Kraemer farm, at the end of County Road 100 in the Little River bottomland, for the tractor sale to end all tractor sales.
Kraemer, who died two years ago, collected and restored tractors.
One-hundred and nineteen of them were sold Saturday as part of an estate sale which saw 802 total lots sold, according to auctioneer Jeff Polk of New Paris, Indiana.
“We do auctions from coast to coast but what made this one special was that Calvin collected all brands of tractors,” Polk told The Reporter.
“A lot of auctions we do, the gentleman usually has a specific brand that he collects,” Polk said.
Kraemer, a mechanic by trade, would bring tractors back to his farm and restore them, keeping them in well-insulated barns.
Kraemer began to collect tractors from the Southwest and midwest in the 1970s.
Oldest tractor sold on Saturday was a 1935 John Deere.
“A John Deere 330S brought the most money,” Polk said. “It brought $25,000.”
Another classic green-and-gold John Deere, this one a 430T-LP, brought $22,000.
‘The work’s all done’
In addition to the tractors there were a wide variety of farm implements on sale and even a prized collection of toy tractors.
Polk said Kraemer’s pride was evident in the meticulous details.
“These are glamorous paint jobs. He put new tires on them, put new gauges on them, really did them up nice,” Polk said. “People can come and buy these and take them to any show and parade and be proud. The work’s all done.”
“In addition to the 1,000 people who showed up we had 280 bid live over the Internet,” Polk said.
Polk said the American tractor buff community, which certainly had the Kraemer sale circled in red on its calendar, will certainly give the late Milam County resident’s cherished tractors “loving homes.”
Polk-McGrew holds 12 to 15 tractor auctions annually but it was the esteem his fellow collectors held Kraemer in that made Saturday’s auction extra special.