What’s Selling on eBay: April 2019

What’s Selling on eBay: April 2019

By Deborah Abernethy and Mike McLeod

$5,956 (32 bids, 8 bidders): Vintage Huffy Radio Bike in Great Original Condition.
Huffy Radio Bike in great condition except for the flat tires. Extra handlebar inside the box. The bike was a reward from the newspaper for a job well done!

When I was in elementary school, I remember my dad obtaining this Huffy Radio Bike. My recollection is that the Lancaster newspapers gave a bike once a year to the best paperboy, if you recall the days when newspapers were delivered (thrown) from bicycles … and for those who remember newspapers! I believe my dad, who worked as a printer for the newspaper ownership, knew the father of the boy who won the bike one year. I am guessing either the boy outgrew it or did not want it. My dad may or may not have paid anything for it. I remember riding it a few times, but frankly, it was rather heavy and cumbersome. It always sat under a blanket in the garage until my mother passed away, and the house was sold. I knew the Huffy was in good shape but had no idea what value it might have. I suggested trying eBay rather than taking it to a local auction. I am sure my dad would have been thrilled to know this story. It was his final gift to me almost ten years after he passed away. And now the bike begins a new stage in its journey across time and generations.
(photos courtesy of eBay seller sshaub)

DBA: This bike was introduced in 1955 and had a built-in radio. It was a vacuum tube radio, battery-operated, and the box was originally matching the bike and located on the rear rack. They had a key to turn it on which operated the radio. Really cool. These are hard to find, but I did find one selling (restored) at auction for $6,195.

$14,678 (17 bids, 3 bidders): Antique Model Fire Engine; Professional Model Maker.
Up for sale is a 1/8 working, hand-made, scale model of a LaFrance fire engine/wagon. This model was professionally built by a full-time pro model builder in the early ‘60s who I worked for part time as a child. The weight of the model is approximately 30 pounds and is made from brass, steel, copper and black walnut. This was a full-time build that took 11 months. This is a model that actually can be fired up and functions like the full size.

The builder was a neighbor of mine; I used to work for him part time as an apprentice machinist. He was an electrical engineer for Allis Chalmers; he used to make all there turbine, tractor, and power plant models. I haven’t even opened the box for the last 25 years until a couple days ago. I’m not sure of the value so have put the price up there to see if there is any interest. I’m open to any and all offers on this beautiful scale working fire engine. Even the oil can in the tool box functions. It also has its own carrying case. This is a one-of-kind that will not disappoint.
(Photos courtesy of eBay seller joesheila)

DBA: Obviously, this is a one-of-a-kind object that we are not going to find identical objects that have sold. This is a miniature working copy of a pre-1905 fire engine that must have been horse-drawn. Working models of all types of objects are collected and prices can be quite high. I did find an 1898 working model of a hand-drawn fire engine that sold for $45,000 at Skinner in 2011. Given that information, the buyer must have gotten a real deal!

What’s Selling on eBay: April 2019