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Worldwide tractor enthusiasts descend upon Canandaigua

Canandaigua, N.Y. On Friday, hundreds of antique tractor enthusiasts from all over the world came to Canandaigua for the auction of a legendary tractor collection.

Jim Erdle has been collecting tractors since the 1960s and over the years, his collection has become one of the biggest in the world.

When he decided that he would sell his collection, tractor enthusiasts knew it was going to be an once-in-a-lifetime event.

This is one of the biggest auctions weve seen for antique farm machinery, explained auctioneer Kurt Aumann.

Aumann travels the country hosting auctions for antique cars and farm machines. He says Erdles collection is not just one of the biggest hes seen, but one of the biggest anyone has ever seen.

On Friday, the auction kicked off with the sale of tractor parts and tractor literature. Aumann says the crowd was larger than expected for the first day of the auction.

Erdle knew it was time to let go his collection and let others appreciate what hes amassed over the years.

Erdle is so well known for his collection that collectors from all over the world have been by his farm to visit before and they were there for the auction on Friday.

I visited this collection about 12 years ago, explained John Bownes, a collector from Chesire, England. When I heard it was going up for auction, I booked the date and made sure I was going to be here. This is a lifetime's collection. That's what makes it unique. The collection is vast. It would be very hard to amass a collection like this today.

Aumann explains that Erdles auction is truly a global event.

People don't think about antique tractors as a hobby, Aumann said. It's actually worldwide. We have people not just from the continental U.S. but from Germany, Belgium, Australia, England and Ireland. They are from everywhere. It's worldwide event right here in Canandaigua.

Some of the more premium antique tractors are already going for over $200,000 during the pre-bid. On Saturday, the big tractors will go up for auctions and thousands of people are expected to attend.

Erdle says he plans on buying a few more tractors with the money he makes, although his new collection will be nowhere near what it is now. He also hope to donate some of the money he makes to a cancer hospice facility.

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Washington Times