A 1950 model N Lanz Bulldog, in a line-up of six immaculately restored vintage tractors, topped $18,000 in the down-sizing sale, held by Landmark, on behalf of Arthur and Fay Johnson, Cuballing last Thursday.
There were 297 buyer registrations for the sale, but about 700 people attended, forcing the Narrogin Lions Club to make a number of trips back to Narrogin for more sausages, bread rolls and drinks.
The buyers came from throughout the Wheatbelt, including Wialki, Westonia, Lake King, Albany and Cowaramup.
Two of the most distant phone bidders were from Derby, unsuccessful on the Lanz Bulldog, and from Victoria, successful on another item of family significance.
On the vintage side themselves, Arthur and Fay Johnson retired to Cuballing from their family farm at Corrigin in 1996 and their first vintage purchase in 1997 was an old 1947 Austin truck.
As put by Landmark Narrogin manager, Jason O'Neill, many thousands of man and lady hours have been put in since then, hence the sale.
But according to Arthur, it was not a clearing sale, but rather a downsizing sale.
"I still have three other tractors and a number of stationary engines which need doing up," he said.
The Lanz Bulldog was his pride and joy and it was a Bulldog he first learnt to drive.
Offered last in the Johnson's catalogue, at auction, it failed to reach the reserve but in minutes was negotiated at the reserve of $18,000.
The buyer was Sue Metcalf, Wialki, who bought it for her husband Neil, who was at home seeding.
"He's always wanted a Lanz Bulldog and we've been to numerous sales over the years but never bought a Bulldog until now," Mrs Metcalf said.
The other five tractors were offered preceding the Bulldog and earlier in the morning all six were started up and run for a period so potential buyers knew they were in running order.
First offered was the McCormick International 1950s model W-9, which at just $1600 went to a Pinjarra buyer.
The same make, but a WD-9 plus bar, sold at $5000 to a Corrigin buyer of four items in the sale.
A 1946 U model Allis Chalmers went to a Collie enthusiast at $6250 while a 1945 model Case LA, was sold to a Brookton buyer at $5000.
Then came the 1965 model Case 930 with duals and the Williams enthusiast who bought it at $6500, said he was a previous owner of the model and another model which superseded the 930.
A 1958 model Chamberlain Super 70, offered before the Lanz Bulldog, was also one of Arthur Johnson's real favourites and was passed-in at $10,000, quite short of his reserve.
Before the offering of tractors, was a run of five trucks, with all but a couple roaring into life before the sale.
The top price came with the last offered and the first vintage item purchased by the Johnsons, a 1947 Austin, beautifully restored and registered as Post Vintage and carrying the license 47 Ostin.
The buyer at $5000 was Ken Sutherland, Katanning.
A Dodge 400, licensed and in good working order, was passed-in, two Bedfords, one in working order, went at $500 and $550 respectively and another, an Inter with a steel tray, went at $200.
Also offered among the trucks was a 1984 Suzuki 450 Twin motor cycle, which went to a Perth buyer at $800.
The earlier part of the sale saw 145 smaller collectable items offered in a Birds Shelter ( ironically, in case of rain, which didn't happen).
Among the higher-priced items, a Wakefield half pint oil bottle made $180, a full pint job $420 and a Kalgoorlie drink bottle with the marble inside, went at $210.
An Alfa Laval milk separator along with a touch of rust sold at $270 and a storage cupboard made of kerosene tins sold at $625.
First offered outside was a John Brinsmead & Sons King George 1V Brandson piano with its original sconces (the things you put the candles in) and the unit appeared a good buy at just $550 for the buyer from Atwell.
Some signs were then offered. One promoting the company Malloch Bros, went to a Lake King buyer at $850, the same buyer also bought an Aspro sign at $100.
The major sign item was a 1905 issue coloured poster which had been professionally framed and carrying the wording "Sunshine Harvester" and "Hugh V. McKay".
The winning phone bid of $1300 came from a Victorian descendant of Hugh V. McKay.
The Johnson's downsizing saw many pallet loads of odds and ends of parts provoking interest from "magpie" buyers.
A couple of items of unrestored gear saw two petrol bowsers offered, with an electric model selling at $1050 to a buyer from Collie; a blacksmith's forge and hot box went to a Roleystone buyer at $225; a Massey Ferguson 532 mower, in working order, sold at $125, perhaps to be put to work again by the Wickepin buyer, while a Lister 240 volt lighting plant with a seized motor, went to a Perth buyer at $250.
But the run of well-presented restored engines and sundry items met with keen competition.
A Lister 240 volt automatic lighting plant went a Perth buyer at $1300, who also went on to buy a Coopers 32 volt plant at $500 and a Coopers Tech water pump at $1250.
A Lister 3.3kW (6hp) stationery engine went to a Mt Helena enthusiast at $1850 as did a Southern Cross 3.3kW stationary engine at $1500.
There were a number of other restored stationary engines of various makes and these ranged between $275 and $600.
Two restored Coopers shearing plants saw a two-stand go at $1300 to a buyer from Crossman, with a single stand attracting $300 from a Katanning buyer.
Two restored machines saw a Bagshaw & Sons Grister sell at $525 and a Kelly Duplex Roller Mill went at $300.
The mouldboard ploughs and other gear of that vintage proved popular, with a heavy duty three furrow unit selling to a Katanning buyer at $1550, while another three blade model went at $1600 to a buyer from Jandakot.
A Herne Hill buyer bought a five blade plough at $2000 along with an 18 tine steel-wheeled scarifier at $800.
The earlier buyer of the piano was also into old farm machinery, picking up a very early model hay rake at $600.
The only single blade mouldboard plough sold to a Fremantle buyer at $400.
A later model Massey Ferguson 24-run combine didn't attract a bid but there was some good competition on the unrestored Allis Chalmers road grader, which is heading south to Nornalup at $2300.
Following the offering of the Lanz Bulldog, Landmark's selling team moved on to a run, account outside vendors.
Of the major items, account RM McEllister, was a McCormick International AW 7 which went to a Cuballing buyer at $2200 and next offered, account Malcolm and Owen Gath and family, was a Chamberlain 9G with FEL, TPL, belt pulley and forks, which saw good competition until knocked down to a Wickepin buyer at $7000.
And finally, two rather outstanding items were offered by Ron and Helen Wessells, Bannister.
These were a 1916 vintage International Mogul 3.3kW stationary engine which sold at $9000, followed by a 1923 model 2065 Austral 5.3kW (8hp) stationary engine which went at $13,000.
Both units were bought by the same buyer and were loaded after the sale for a trip to Bridgetown where they will be put on display.
Later offered, and although initially passed in, the Birds Shelter also sold, resulting in an almost total clearance.
Following the sale, Arthur Johnson said he was happy with the result as did most of the other major vendors and also Landmark's Narrogin manager Jason O'Neill, who put the sale together on behalf of the Johnsons.
"It was a fantastic result, we knew we had a quality offering catalogued and the response from interested buyers was justified," Jason said.
"Our greatest worry with the late date of the sale was the weather but we were fortunate it was a fine day.
"Interest was so strong we are penciling in another vintage sale sometime in March next year."