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Renowned vintage machinery collection sells for more than $1m
A renowned vintage machinery collection containing some of the rarest tractors in the world has sold for more than $1 million at an auction in Western Australia. Belonging to the late Tony Pailthorpe, the collection of International Harvester Company agricultural machinery was believed to be the largest in the southern hemisphere.
Organised by his three children, the sale at Aberbechan farm in Benger was an emotional day for Mr Pailthorpe's friends and family. "It's very bittersweet," said his youngest daughter, Christina Denton.
"I'm feeling very sad to see it all go because it's like seeing Dad walk out the gate again." Mr Pailthorpe was remembered on the day for his passion for vintage equipment, having amassed about 1,000 pieces before his sudden death from a stroke in 2013.
Despite bad weather, hundreds of people turned out from around the country to attend the auction, with bids also coming in from the US, China and New Zealand. A dairy farmer by trade, Mr Pailthorpe was well-known and respected not only in Australia, but also in the US, a country he visited multiple times. Those who knew him say his passion for collecting and restoring vintage machinery was recognised wherever he went.
One of his closest friends was farmer and vintage machinery enthusiast Bob Lukins, who spent months in the lead up to the event organising the sale. Mr Lukins described Mr Pailthorpe as someone who was "passionate in everything he did".
"He was so enthusiastic, a great help with all the field days and just one of those incredible blokes," he said. "Not only was he known widely in Western Australia, he was also known widely in Australia and in America."
He said it was devastating that his friend had died at such young age, but that Mr Pailthorpe would be pleased to see his collection being appreciated.