Auctions America concluded its 2012 auction season on a positive note, helping the historic National Military History Center (NMHC), a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, in Auburn, Ind., sell more than 80 vintage military vehicles as well as a diverse assortment of more than 100 pieces of priceless war memorabilia at no reserve.
Featuring the largest group of full and half-track military items ever offered at public auction, the five-hour sale captured the attention of the global collector community, generating $2,976,605 hammer in sales before a packed house. Bidders hailed from 19 countries around the world including as far away as Germany, Russia, Australia and China, while on a national level, bidders represented 34 states across the United States.
The offering represented a small portion of the extensive museum collection, with monies raised from the sale helping the museum pay off its mortgage and in turn safeguarding the future of an important and historic Auburn attraction. The military museum opened in 2003 after Dean Kruse bought the inventory of a closing World War II museum in Belgium and shipped it to Auburn.
“We’re pleased with the results from the weekend’s sale and proud to have been able to provide our auction services to help secure the future of the National Military History Center,” says Donnie Gould, president, Auctions America by RM. “As illustrated by the tremendous level of bidder interest, the auction attracted a truly international audience, highlighting the significance of the museum on a global scale. We are fortunate to have such a wonderful piece of history in our backyard and look forward to seeing the new displays that will be unveiled in the museum in the near future,” adds Gould.
The highest price of the auction went to a rare WWII Daimler-Benz DB10 12 ton Half-Track Primer Mover, among the scarcest of all German equipment, which attracted fierce bidding to sell for a remarkable $200,000 hammer price. Other vehicles attracting serious attention from collectors included the 1940-41 Hanomag S.P.W. Ausf. C SdKfz 251/1 Armored ¾ Track for $160,000 hammer, and 1940 Horch Type EFm 4×4 Cross-Country Personnel Car, selling for an impressive $150,000 hammer. A 1942-45 GMC DUKW – 353 6X6 Amphibious Truck, used to transport Allied troops and supplies over land and water during the war realized a strong hammer price of $97,000.
In addition, vintage motorcycles also performed extremely well, attracting spirited bidding in the room and on the phones. Among the top-selling motorcycles were a pair of WWII Harley-Davidsons, including a limited production 1942 Harley-Davidson 42XA Motorcycle for $40,000 hammer and a 1942 Harley-Davidson UA Motorcycle with Sidecar for $38,000 hammer. A 1943 BMW R75 Motorcycle with Sidecar, arguably the most recognized military motorcycle of WWII, received a strong hammer price of $38,000, with a 1941 Indian 841 Motorcycle selling for $35,500 hammer.
Auctions America – National Military History Center Top Five Hammer Sales:
- Lot 174 – 1935-45 Daimler-Benz DB10 SdKfz 8 12-Ton Half-Track Primer Mover $200,000
- Lot 170 – 1940-41 Hanomag S.P.W Ausf. C SdKfz 251/1 $160,000
- Lot 131 – 1940 Horch Type EFm 4×4 Cross-Country $150,000
- Lot 157 – 1942 Borgward H kl 6 Half-Track $145,000
- Lot 147 – 1944 Steyr 1500A/01 4×4 Kfz $130,000
In addition to the auction sales, 100 percent of admissions from the two-day event also benefited the National Military History Center.
“We are very pleased with how everything turned out. We knew the German equipment in particular would be very desirable worldwide and Auctions America did a great job in marketing the collection to an international audience,” says Tammy Hantz, operations manager, NMHC following the sale. “We’re excited about the future and looking forward to expanding on the galleries by adding new dioramas and continuing to educate and entertain our visitors.”
Full results from the National Military History Center sale are available online at auctionsamerica.com.