DUNDEE, Mich. – Two live public auctions are scheduled in April to sell the world-renowned museum contents belonging to the late Michael Yeck, purveyor of the Dundee Motor Pool Museum.
The first auction – featuring antique and common tools and equipment – will take place April 17, beginning at 10:30 a.m. On April 27, the second auction will feature a robust military vehicle and classic car auction, along with thousands of military relics that date back to the Civil War.
Mike Yeck, the former mayor of Dundee, Mich., who passed away this past August, was instrumental in establishing the Veterans Memorial in Dundee and a long standing member of the Moore-Lenz-Wakefield VFW Post 6462. He established Yeck Manufacturing in 1947. Years later, he gained national prominence when he established Yeck Antique Firearms and ultimately, the Dundee Motor Pool Museum, which attracted visitors from all around the United States to view his enormous collection of military vehicles and memorabilia dating back to the Civil War.
Yeck served in the Army during World War II. He was one of the first men to volunteer for the Selective Service in 1940 and had only expected to serve about two years. His plans changed, however, when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, and he served out the rest of the war, including participating in D-Day, June 6, 1944, when the Allies invaded Nazi-controlled France.
During the initial part of the invasion, Yeck was aboard a boat the was towing an artificial harbor – a 200 foot long, 30-foot-high barge that was supposed to be used as a breakwater to make it easier for troops to disembark on the beach. Yeck's boat was hit and sank while the barge broke up. Yeck and his crew mates treaded water until they were picked up by another boat. On the way back to England, he was ordered to go to a Liberty Ship, a cargo vessel, to operate a floating crane and replace the previous operator who had broken his leg. Tragedy struck when 10 of the 12 men in his crew were killed when his ship hit a mine.
Yeck's passion for collecting was born after he took his first trip back to France since the end of the war in 1989 during the commemoration of the 45th Anniversary of D-Day. From there, one of the most profound military vehicle and memorabilia collections began in a pair of aluminum hangers he created after the war for his manufacturing business in Dundee.
“Mike Yeck was a people person and a showman of military history so it's only appropriate that his remarkable collection is showcased with a big auction where everyone can be a part of the action,” said auctioneer Kenny Lindsay. “This is a great testament to the auction method as everything will be sold regardless of the final bid price. It makes no difference what your budget is – you can get an important piece of history bought. Understand that we are talking about thousands of different items in this auction. It’s very diverse – everything from antique bear traps, old shipping crates to re-enactment uniforms, military canteens and authentic military vehicles including a very cool 1942 Harley Davidson Motorcycle with side car.”
To view more than 600 pictures of what will be sold and for more information, visit the American Eagle Auction & Appraisal Company website at www.MichiganAuctionCompany.com. Contact Kenny Lindsay at 734-223-3277 or auction manager David Helmer at 734-368-1733.