Bidders fell under the spell of the machine in Heritage Auctions’ $1.2+ million presentation of the Glenn Reid Museum Collection of Mechanical Models May 28 at Heritage Auctions in Dallas. The collection offered nearly 500 scale models from the Detroit-area museum with top lot honors taken by a fully-equipped, 24-foot Ahrens-Fox N-S-4 fire truck, which brought $125,000 against a $110,000 estimate.

The Ahrens-Fox fire truck was the centerpiece to the far-reaching collection that romanticized mankind’s technological achievements through steam, roadways, and the dawn of flight. A fourth-generation Scottish American born in 1931 in the heart of the Motor City to a father who was chief engineer in the early days of General Motors, Reid built his own company, Flexible Products Co. just a few miles from where Henry Ford built the first Model T.

Among the highlights from the collection is a Motorized Scale Model Lancia Ferrari D-50 Grand Prix Car, signed by Formula 1 Hall of Fame member Juan Manuel Fangio, which sold for $21,250, against a $6,000 estimate. A seductive Conley Precision Model of a 1965 Shelby AC Cobra V-8 was eagerly pursued by 10 bidders before ending at $20,000 against a $4,000 estimate.

Following a career in the military as an engineer, Reid turned his eye to elaborate and intricate models. An impressive scale model of a 1943 Willy’s Jeep with Trailer and Anti-Tank Gun, ended at $12,500 after 15 bidders quickly surpassed its $1,200 estimate.

Live steam scale models were also popular with collectors as a miniature Case General Purpose Traction Engine, presented in a custom oak display case, hammered for $16,250. A live steam scale model of an Allchin “Royal Chester” Exhibition Traction Engine ended at $13,750 and an Aster live steam model of a Union Pacific “Big Boy” Locomotive and Tender sold for $12,500 against a $5,000 estimate.

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