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Antique Steel Wheel Tractors - Old Iron Lugs and Cleats Photos and information about antique steel wheeled farm tractors. This is where to find the heaviest of Old Iron tractors.

Antique Steel Wheel Tractors - Old Iron Lugs and Cleats

Is old Iron a good investment?


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  #1  
Old 09-13-2017, 01:27:23 PM
oldironlindy oldironlindy is offline
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Default Is old Iron a good investment?

So we just had our annual 401K meeting at work. I contribute a fair amount to that but the experts at the bank say you should keep increasing your contribution percentage. Personally I would rather buy more old iron with the money and enjoy it. My grandpa always sad that he wished he would have bought some early tractors or 30's Packard cars in the 60's. and my dad could have retired at 50 if he would have hung on to his roadrunner and super bee. I am 36 by the way. Do you think that similar opportunities exist for my generation? Also curios if anyone has retired early because of a wise purchase they made when they were my age. Thanks!
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Old 09-13-2017, 01:51:08 PM
David Hoover David Hoover is offline
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Default Re: Is old Iron a good investment?

This weekend, go to your bankers house and spend some time with him. Next weekend, go spend it with a tractor guy. On the third weekend, decide who you had the most fun with. Money is the tool you use to fix old iron. On the fourth weekend, invite your banker to your tractor friends place. I'm sure he could use some fun in his life too.
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Old 09-13-2017, 01:51:17 PM
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Chris Epping Chris Epping is offline
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Default Re: Is old Iron a good investment?

Personally I wouldn't look at buying old iron (or any collectible) as an investment. It's a hobby, not a mutual fund. A lot of this stuff hasn't gone up that much through the years. Historically the really good stuff has, but even that has seen somewhat of a correction the past few years. Many of the folks in recent years that bought high priced iron thinking it could do nothing but go up, have been disappointed. But they usually weren't true collectors, they were investors. If you're genuinely interested in it, buy it, if you can afford to do so, after you take care of your responsibilities at home/business & planning for your future. If it's worth more when you or your heirs sell it, great! but if it's not you will still have fun and enjoy owning it if you're a true collector. There's a lot of entertainment value in this hobby.

Yes, more than likely there are things you can buy today that will be worth a lot more in the future, but no one honestly knows what those things will be.
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Old 09-13-2017, 02:03:28 PM
G Willikers G Willikers is offline
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Default Re: Is old Iron a good investment?

I remember buying each tractor I have now and thinking I must be nuts for spending that much money! Over time, they have increased in value many times over, although, it really doesn't matter what they are worth, as I have no intention of selling them.
We have talked about this very thing among collectors locally. The consensus has been that if we ever reach a time when the old iron has little or no value, then there will likely be larger problems in the broader world and it won't really matter.
Our equivalent to your 401K is called RRSP. It acts as a tax deferral, but with interest rates today, there is not a great return unless you go to riskier investments. If you can expect a decent pension aside from that, or, like many, you will be working past 65, then you may not need those deferral savings.
You could cash in all the old iron and have a nice pile of money to play in like fall leaves, but the fun would wear off pretty fast, whereas an old tractor offers a lot more over a longer time.
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Old 09-13-2017, 02:12:40 PM
Jim Walker Jim Walker is offline
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Default Re: Is old Iron a good investment?

Love the comment. Jim
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Old 09-13-2017, 02:58:02 PM
Ronald E. McClellan Ronald E. McClellan is offline
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Default Re: Is old Iron a good investment?

No not as an investment! I remember going to an auction about 10 tears ago where there were several large steam engines 4' , 5' , 6' dia flywheels That the scrapers were buying. I have also heard that scrapers have paid more for tractors than collectors would pay. When I go to auctions I see mostly gray haired old men. When these guys are gone , who are going to buy the engines , The scrapers? I go to this one auction every week and the antiques that used to bring thousands are now bring hundreds. This trend is happened over the Whole antique and collectible area. The young people have their heads so far buried in their electronic games and texting that they can't see anything else. And they are not learning that there other whole worlds out here. Ron
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Old 09-13-2017, 03:07:42 PM
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Default Re: Is old Iron a good investment?

So many variables would have to be considered that I don't think you could make a reasonable case for investing in old iron.

You will have to find a piece that is affordable/cheap to buy today, but that you believe will increase in value over time. How much time? 20 years? Can you even predict the state of the hobby that far out?

Can you simply store it that long and hope the value increases? Or, are you going to fix it up? That costs a lot and could maybe increase the value, but maybe not your net investment return.

Are you going to run it, show it, transport it, insure it, etc? Those all cost, too, and every dollar you spend on it now that doesn't directly increase its value in the future is a wasted dollar if investment is your goal.

Plus, you need a building to store all this stuff in. Maybe you already have one bought and paid for, but if you don't . . . more $$$ spent.

The McCormick-Deering 10-20 that we gave $250 for in 1985 is worth what today? $500? $750? Is that a good investment? That scenario seems more likely than stumbling onto something rare or valuable that no one else knows about so you can get it cheap. That doesn't happen often enough to plan a retirement on.

And, as stated above, if you buy stuff you like and then don't want to sell it later, it's a liability, not an asset.
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Old 09-13-2017, 03:10:31 PM
Jason W Jason W is offline
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Default Re: Is old Iron a good investment?

What fun is your investment if you have to sell it to retire anyway? You're far better off investing in your 401k than in tractors anyway. Your value will grow much faster over the same period.
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Old 09-13-2017, 03:22:18 PM
oldironlindy oldironlindy is offline
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Default Re: Is old Iron a good investment?

I should probably clarify that I am not saying that I would stop contributing to conventional retirement plans. I feel that I am on track to have enough saved up to support ourselves through retirement. I understand that there are risks In any investment but I think I would get more enjoyment out of my money on the long run if I bought more old iron than I would if I had a bigger 401k account when I retire.
As far as "no young people like old Iron" I call B.S. I was at The Rollag show Labor day weekend and there were tons of your families (including mine) working on and showing machinery. I saw more young men and women running steam engines than older folks.
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Old 09-13-2017, 03:43:12 PM
Don Selmer Don Selmer is offline
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Default Re: Is old Iron a good investment?

Words I live by: My Philosophy: Really

I'm out spending my kids Inheritance on my 401K plan, when I die they can have what's left from my estate sale.

I'm going to enjoy it while I can, I can't play with money. I bought things because I wanted to play with it not because of a real investment. I really don't care what it's worth 10-15 years from now. I didn't buy it for an investment (but it sure don't hurt)

The late "Andy Kruse" use to tell me, "if I wanted to look at money, I'd go to the bank."

In Oshkosh, Wi. 1982 I helped a good Engine friend who was dying of Cancer have an auction. He died shortly before the auction. A few years before then the economy was rough at that time also. He said to me "Prices of everything is dropping, I should sell all my engines while I can while there still worth something. I told him "if nothing is worth nothing at least you can still go out to your shed and run some engines to have fun" Needless to say he kept the engines to the end.

Russ, my good friend, Rest in Peace

Last edited by Don Selmer; 09-13-2017 at 03:57:20 PM.
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Old 09-13-2017, 04:07:02 PM
Russ Hamm Russ Hamm is offline
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Default Re: Is old Iron a good investment?

I always told my wife that my old iron was our retirement money. After starting collecting around 1983, i made some pretty good buys that have increased in value since then many times. But i still think investing in a good plan would have actually gained more in the long run. So far old iron has been a solid investment, for example at worst case i bought an F-14 for 175 dollars, put 500 in it and sold it for 900 after owning it for 27 years. Had an Avery threshing machine i paid 400 dollars for and sold it for 1800 three years later. I don't know, for me it averages out to be really good, and fun at the same time. But, i always said that even if they were worth nothing i would still own them. Buying right and early was the key, i think. I'm not too sure how much old iron is priced for investing right now.
At the same time i have paid way too much for a couple of tractors that i really wanted.......there goes the investment.
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Old 09-13-2017, 04:54:17 PM
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Default Re: Is old Iron a good investment?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Russ Hamm View Post
At the same time i have paid way too much for a couple of tractors that i really wanted.......there goes the investment.
More often than not, I've bought things just because I wanted them, rather than because I thought they were a good deal. I can't imagine how my enjoyment of collecting things would change if I had to worry about whether I'd get my money back out of them.
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Old 09-13-2017, 05:11:04 PM
Scotty 2 Scotty 2 is offline
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Default Re: Is old Iron a good investment?

Quote:
Originally Posted by oldironlindy View Post
Also curios if anyone has retired early because of a wise purchase they made when they were my age. Thanks!
I brought an income protection insurance at age 32 and had a policy that covered me until age 65.
In 1997 I had a serious accident and never worked since.
I would say that was a wise investment.

If you have the space to store them. Over the years I have brought a few cars when they were about 10-15 years old to use as daily drivers. No-one seems to want them when they're 10-15 years old and they're cheap as chips. I usually drive them for 10 years or so and park them in the shed and buy another.
When they get to 30-40 they seem to jump up in value.

Cheers Scott
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Old 09-13-2017, 05:13:36 PM
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Default Re: Is old Iron a good investment?

My grandpa almost bought a 40-80 Avery that was in running condition for $400 in the 70's. His brother in law laughed him out of bidding. Hind sight is 20-20 I guess.
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Old 09-13-2017, 05:30:02 PM
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Default Re: Is old Iron a good investment?

My banker advised me not to borrow $2000 to buy a running E 30-60 Oilpull in 1968. I saved for a year $1000. He then advised against my borrowing $1000 so I could buy it. I didn't take his advice and borrowed $1000, bought a round trip air fare from Chicago to Fargo ND for $85 and looked and bought it for $2000.
Should I have taken a banker's advice? I'll not sell it. All is going into a trust. I did go a little out of line on my last purchase but something was a little special about it.
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Old 09-13-2017, 05:38:33 PM
Russ Hamm Russ Hamm is offline
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Default Re: Is old Iron a good investment?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Colwell View Post
My grandpa almost bought a 40-80 Avery that was in running condition for $400 in the 70's. His brother in law laughed him out of bidding. Hind sight is 20-20 I guess.
I couldn't get my banker to loan me $6,000.00 on a running 8-16 International some years ago, ended up buying 3 parts tractors for $3,000.00
years later to make one run, plus parts and labor.
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Old 09-13-2017, 05:43:57 PM
Andrew Mackey Andrew Mackey is offline
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Default Re: Is old Iron a good investment?

As others have noted - values go up and down. the Hunt bros. drove the price of silver thru the roof. Someone finally made a margin call and the worth of silver went down the tubes. my dad collected glassware - rare tumblers, daisy and button ware, all kinds of copper lustre and silver luster ware -cost thousands. Now, worth pennies on the dollar same for silver coins and silverware - the expensive stuff, not plate from china. it used to cost a mint. Now you are lucky to get scrap price! Unless paul revere made it during the revolutionary war, it's not worth much. Furnature has also gone down. As others have noted, the new kids are not collecting, nor have much interest in material goods. They want all the newest electronic toys, with all the bells and whistles, that are obsolete within a year or so. They have no sense of history or value on older items

Keep your money in the IRAs. Use 'disposable' money for things you like (like old iron and vacations). You might get lucky with a barn find or at a sale, but these are sure to be short term gains. Use them to build your collection. Trade up! Do not depend on their value now as a hedge against the future. Play it smart, and watch your investments carefully. BE SURE the broker is working for you, not the other way around!

Been there done that!
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Old 09-13-2017, 06:27:04 PM
Russ Hamm Russ Hamm is offline
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Default Re: Is old Iron a good investment?

This discussion reminds me of glass insulators and some other things. Remember when insulators were a big deal and now you can't give em away? Old iron hasn't done that, for the most part.
Also, antique wrenches, iv'e paid four dollars for a wrench that i really wanted just to watch a bundle of them sell for two dollars at auction years later. I think once everybody on the block started pulling some of that stuff out of the barn and saving it from the garbage man and every flea market had multiples on the shelf the price will drop. Add to that some of the vast collections that have come up for auction and there you are.
Some of the items that leave me baffled are the "new" collectables that are marketed in limited quantities such as farm toys and belt buckles, etc. We already had collectable old items enough to make a horder out of anyone, then some marketing genious manufactured some more. Isn't that something, or is it just me? You all have seen these at auctions, my Dad collected every Hesston belt buckle made, some of them bring more than new price, but the complete sets probably do best.
State quarters, i started collecting them and dropped out a few years into it.
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Old 09-13-2017, 06:53:57 PM
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Default Re: Is old Iron a good investment?

This is why a lot of interest in our hobby has died. It is a hobby not an investment plan. Many years ago a very good friend of mine who was a pioneer in our hobby told me he bought steam engines and Rumely Oil Pulls because he loved the history and didn't want to see the junkies destroy everything. He said if he thought of it as an investment he could have had 100 times as much stuff. I paid him $5,500 for an original 16-30 Oil Pull he paid $500 for. It was a nice side benefit that it did increase in value. But if your drive is to make money on the investment of old iron you are missing the point of the hobby. Nothing disgust me more than for someone to step inside one of my buildings and say "do you know how much money this stuff is worth"? That shortens the visit greatly because the person misses the point of the hobby.
If your driving force is to make money my advise is make sure you take on all the overtime at your place of work you can. In my younger days I put every dime of spare money I had into my hobby not for investment for monetary increase but because I loved the old iron. As you get older you realize it's time for some of the stuff to go to a younger owner. If you make some money on it then great but don't make that as your driving force to collect iron.
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Old 09-13-2017, 09:09:21 PM
uglyblue66 uglyblue66 is offline
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Default Re: Is old Iron a good investment?

Well, I remember when i started into this hobby at about age 14 I had a couple lawnmowers and thought i was doing good. About age 21 I started going to shows and bought 5 and 10 dollar briggs engines and others. I have a shed, about 12x12,I have always called my "retirement" account. I thought that when i got older I could sell a 5 dollar engine for about 35 and get a return . Wrong. I can still buy 5 and 10 dollar engines. that building is floor to ceiling,and others are stuffed to.
So as far as a return? That is when i go pick 1 out of the pile and refurbish it and display it at shows. I can participate in a show and interact with similar minded people. That takes my mind off my pain,my worries.Even if for just a few hours. So actually, It is cheaper than medicine for depression and other ills I would need to take if I stayed at home all the time.
.That equals a small return on my investment in the end.
Garden tractors,similar situation,I got them cheap,still have them,and still get some cheap.
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