David Smith sells his family's collection of antique tractors and engines through Ritchie Bros.
David and his wife Ann shared a passion for antique farm tractors and engines. They would attend auctions together and David would buy any engine or tractor Ann liked. Over 50 years they collected dozens of items, covering their family farm east of Didsbury, AB with their passion project.
Unfortunately, Ann passed in 2017, at the age of 85, and David was left with the collection they built together. His two sons, David and Colin, asked David, now 89, what he planned on doing with the massive collection.
"The collection will be yours soon enough," David said to his sons.
But David's sons knew they could never have the same passion for the collection as their parents did. Their father knew everything about every item and he deserved to be there when it sold. David agreed with his sons, and called Ritchie Bros. the next day.
‘Ritchie Bros. was so professional through the whole process'
"Ritchie Bros. was so professional through the whole process—paying attention to every detail," said David. "They were extremely particular about the descriptions because they knew collectors would want to know every little detail. We checked and double-checked everything."
The auction, held on July 12, 2018, attracted more than 500 bidders from across Canada and around the world.
"It was overwhelming," said David. "So interesting to meet all these people who shared my wife and I's passion. People came from all over. It was quite an event. Ann would have loved it."
A heartwarming tribute to Ann
Sales highlights included a 1978 John Deere 4440 two-wheel drive tractor that sold for $31,000; a 1926 John Deere Model D tractor that sold for $18,500; and a 1946 Field Marshall tractor that sold for $13,000 to the son of the original owner of the tractor.
"Working with Ritchie Bros. was a great experience—just really super people," said David. "At the beginning of the auction they did a little speech about my wife and I, and dedicated the auction to Ann's memory. That was special."
Sell my equipment