Bidders fell under the spell of the machine in Heritage Auctions
' $1.2+ million presentation of the Glenn Reid Museum Collection of Mechanical Models May 28 at Heritage Auctions in Dallas. The collection offered nearly 500 scale models from the Detroit-area museum with top lot honors taken by a fully-equipped, 24-foot Ahrens-Fox N-S-4 fire truck, which brought $125,000 against a $110,000 estimate.
"I was extremely impressed with the level and amount of bidding, which seemed to come from all over the world," said Nick Dawes, Vice President of Special Collections at Heritage. "The collection appealed to not just established enthusiasts but to bidders from our client base that just couldn't resist it."
The Ahrens-Fox fire truck was the centerpiece to the far-reaching collection that romanticized mankind's technological achievements through steam, roadways, and the dawn of flight. A fourth-generation Scottish American born in 1931 in the heart of the Motor City to a father who was chief engineer in the early days of General Motors, Reid built his own company, Flexible Products Co. just a few miles from where Henry Ford built the first Model T.
Among the highlights from the collection is a Motorized Scale Model Lancia Ferrari D-50 Grand Prix Car, signed by Formula 1 Hall of Fame member Juan Manuel Fangio, which sold for $21,250, against a $6,000 estimate. A seductive Conley Precision Model of a 1965 Shelby AC Cobra V-8 was eagerly pursued by 10 bidders before ending at $20,000 against a $4,000 estimate.
Following a career in the military as an engineer, Reid turned his eye to elaborate and intricate models. An impressive scale model of a 1943 Willy's Jeep with Trailer and Anti-Tank Gun, ended at $12,500 after 15 bidders quickly surpassed its $1,200 estimate.
Live steam scale models were also popular with collectors as a miniature Case General Purpose Traction Engine, presented in a custom oak display case, hammered for $16,250. A live steam scale model of an Allchin "Royal Chester" Exhibition Traction Engine ended at $13,750 and an Aster live steam model of a Union Pacific "Big Boy" Locomotive and Tender sold for $12,500 against a $5,000 estimate.
"I think Glenn Reid himself would have been delighted to see his collection acquired by the next generation of collectors who will look after it," Dawes said.