Got an antique bicycle? Thinking about selling it to help fund your retirement? Good luck. Used bicycles are worth whatever you can get for them.
When I worked at the bicycle shop, I regularly surprised people with spot valuations of Schwinn Varsity, Columbia and, yes, Huffy bicycles. And I wasn’t surprising them with the kind of prices that make visitors to Antique Roadshow squeal.
If a bike had a seat bag, and there was an adjustable wrench in it, the price might double, to $10. Not that I was going to spend the $10. But the owner would insist on an answer, and $10 was a nice, round, easy-to-remember number.
Things with pedals can summon bigger prices if you can reach the right audience. They might be fat-tire bikes from the 1950s, high-wheelers from the 1890s, or graceful woodworking machines, also from the late 19th century.
Or they might be pedal-powered tractors, like the 1958 Allis-Chalmers D14 at the top of this page. On October 27, it brought $1,400 at auction in Tremont, Illinois. The full-size 1941 John Deere H tractor below it, with 12 horsepower at the drawbar? $1,600.
Now I didn’t check it out carefully, but given the extra $200 the Deere captured, I’d be willing to bet it came with a wrench.