The “ultimate toy auction,” which featured several airplanes and helicopters, drew bidders from around the world, attracting the largest crowd the auctioneers have ever seen.
The auction, held July 15 in Lubbock, Texas, featured airplanes, cars, sports memorabilia and farm equipment amassed by Jonathan D. “Jody” Nelson, who pleaded guilty April 27 to embezzling more than $77 million from his employer.
More than 3,300 registered bidders purchased more than $7 million worth of airplanes, classic cars, boats, construction equipment, and sports memorabilia. Bidders came from 18 countries, 47 U.S. states, and nine Canadian provinces.
“We’ve been in business for over 40 years, and this Lubbock sale had one of the biggest crowds we’ve ever seen,” said Robert Love, territory manager for Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers. “Registered bidders brought friends to the auction and there were a lot of people who came to watch. We figure there were 8,000-10,000 people in attendance on auction day. Besides the thousands of customers that drove to Lubbock and flew on commercial airplanes to attend the sale, there were 50 private airplanes that landed at the Lubbock airport so that customers could attend the sale.”
Highlights from the auction include a 1987 Hughes MD500E 369E helicopter that sold for $455,000, a 1977 Cessna 182Q Skylane II that sold for $140,000, and a 2003 Harley Davidson Fat Boy 100th Anniversary edition motorcycle that sold for $20,500.
Close to 900 bidders registered for the Lubbock auction using the company’s real-time Internet bidding service, RBAuctionBid-Live. Internet buyers purchased items worth more than $1.5 million.
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