I've been communicating with Mark since last summer. I put him in touch with a guy who has an extra gearbox. He is the same person who was arranging to have a new gear made using his existing gear as a model. The fabricator, one thousand miles away, does this on weekends and is dragging this job out. Says he needs some special tooling.
Mark hasn't conducted the sale of this tractor very well. I can't imagine anyone ending a high dollar auction like that at 23:00 PST. That tractor was only listed under Farmall>Parts and not tractors. Page views were half of the previous auction. Three bidders (out of 8 ) from the first auction didn't participate in the second auction. They were replaced with new blood.
Of course, the biggest problem was the missing idler gear. It must have been assumed that it was unobtainable or the seller would have secured one. Any full-time short-run gear hobber could make one. They could also make the more difficult one above it. I priced those two gears five years ago and I think the total was around $200-$250 for the pair in lots of ten. One idler by itself would be around $200.
About two days before, a similar good running 400 had a buy-it-now listed for $2500. It didn't sell. Maybe it's a poor time of year.
Mark says he needs the money. I expect the Electrall will be separated from the tractor, sold on eBay, and easily shipped on a pallet.
My estimate of $13,000-$15,000 was based on a comparable sale about three years ago. Somewhere in the upper midwest, an unrestored SMTA w/Electrall sold for $13,000 at a live auction. It went on the block with 10-12 other SMTAs at the owner's farm.
I had thought about bidding. Was thinking I could win the bid, store it at Mark's site till the RPRU, and haul it over to Ohio for a quick sale. Mark wouldn't tell me what the reserve was.
We will just have to wait to see what his next move is. Personally, I think he should let Aumann, Mecum, or Polk sell it because he has fumbled two auctions. But eBay can deliver the bids on rare items. It just takes two or three guys placing bids that "can't be beat" in the last five seconds.
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