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Joe Artman Bantam and Wildcat Garden Tractor Auction, a Day We Will Remember
Joe had decided to sell all of his collection of Bantam’s and Wildcat tractors, new and used parts and implements. The auction was not very well advertised and most of the attendees were friends of Joe’s and local collectors. Joes wife sent us a flyer of the auction on the Thursday before the auction. We made arrangements and Friday after work we left Webb City, Missouri and drove all night and arrived in Lebanon about 3am. We found the fairgrounds and took a short rest. Saturday arrived and we went in and started checking out all the items to be auctioned.
There were four Wildcats, a restored Wildcat Page garden tractor and a Wildcat Garden-all. There were also a couple of Standard walk behinds and push mowers. Also in the rare category was a 10 kid kiddie cart that was used at the Hazelwood Amusement park to pull kid around the park. It had 10 spaces for kids to set and had a hand rail that they could hold on to while riding. Also included were several original pieces of literature and pictures of the factory. Joe had a copy of the owner’s manual for each of the Bantam garden tractors he had there.
Before the auction started everyone was asking “what are you here for” “which one do you want” “how much do you think this will bring” on and on. I made some deals before the auction with other collectors, deals like “I won’t bid on this tractor if you don’t bid on that one” or “you buy all the parts in that box and we will split them”. When it was time for the auction they started with the Page and attachments. The final price on it was around $1200 which was a great deal for the buyer, the second was the Garden-all and it sold for under $700, another deal. I was thinking we might get some deals here. Remember it only takes 2 people wanting the same thing for that thought to go out the window. It came to the Bantam’s and I think the total for the 6 Bantams was almost $10,000 and another $4000 for the Wildcats.
All in all it was like I said “ it was a day to remember.” In the end we ended up with the Bantam 8000, the Bantam 1 ½ hp Jr, The wide front Estate Model Wildcat, a Deluxe Wildcat, and Model 14 Wildcat which we ended up selling to someone later in the day. We bought the Kiddie Cart, a NOS cultivator, front sickle bar mower and an assortment of NOS and used parts. Some of the best parts we purchased were new in the box clutches for the Bantams and the original cut a way transmission the salesman would use to show the inner workings of the transmission.
Article submitted by:
Anne & Daryel Shaffer, Webb City, Missouri