We are always pleased when the items we sell find their way to a place they will be appreciated by many. This was the case when we recently sold a World War II Allison aircraft engine in the online auction of a Swansea, MA estate. The consignor had previously owned two marinas and was a pilot who had once rebuilt an airplane. The engine drew a considerable amount of attention with potential buyers from outside of the United States and even a pilot who flew his plane into New Bedford airport to preview the engine and other items.
World War II aircraft engine sold
for over $12,000 in our December
When the bidding ended, “The Fighter Factory” was the winning bidder at over $12,000. The “Fighter Factory” is a division of the Military Aviation Museum in Virginia Beach. They host an impressive collection of fighters, bombers, trainers, liaison & other historical military antiques. I spoke with the owner, Jerry Yagen, who was pleased to acquire the engine. He said that it can take 8 to 9 years to restore an antique aircraft. The museum is typically able to get one or two of the vintage “warbirds” back into the sky each year. Mr. Yagen said that he primarily restores military aircraft because that “is where most of the money was spent” with vintage aircraft. He added that the engines are the most expensive pieces and that the museum recently paid approximately half a million dollars for a very rare engine.
We also sold a 1947 Wooden Chris Craft 17 foot motor boat. It was partially restored but needed refinishing, new interior work along with installation of an engine, wiring and lots of other cosmetic work. Chris Craft wooden boats are revered by collectors. The Chris Craft antique boat club claims over 3600 members. Chris Craft’s corporate website states Christopher Columbus Smith built his first boat at the age of 13 on the St. Clair River in Algonac, Michigan. In 1881, Chris joined with his brother Hank to build boats full time. Chris Craft built 12,000 military vessels by 1945 to help the war effort. In 1950, Chris Craft was offering 139 different recreational power boat models. The boat we sold brought over $4,000. When the restoration is complete, the owner will have a beautiful
boat worth considerably more. I see similar models of restored vessels sell for over three times that amount.
When we saw the items that needed to be sold, we recommended that the owner sell their items in an online auction at their home as opposed to moving them to another location, running a live auction at their location or by conducting a conventional tag/estate sale with all items priced. We were able to attract a wider audience than with a conventional tag sale by promoting the sale on our online auction platform. This method also helps ensure that there won’t be a large number of unsold items. There were a considerable amount of heavy items that wouldn’t have been practical to relocate for an auction. Also, with the New England winter approaching, it’s not an ideal time for an on-site auction. The consignors were pleased with the sale as were the buyers.
If you are fortunate enough to vacation in Virginia Beach some summer, you just might see a World War II plane fly overhead with an engine that used to rest in a Swansea, MA barn.
If you have any questions about antique auctions and estate sales, call Wayne Tuiskula, Auctioneer/Appraiser at 508-612-6111 or email us today.
Our articles are published in the Webster Times, Spencer New Leader, Auburn News, Blackstone Valley Tribune, Charlton Villager, Killingly Villager, Putnam Villager, Sturbridge Villager, Thompson Villager and Woodstock Villager.