The Fourth of July holiday has made for a slow week, with a lot of folks out on the road enjoying vacations and celebrations of our nation’s birth. We have been using the extra free time to pursue one our favorite hobbies – collecting tire memorabilia and advertising. While we do occasionally find treasures at local garage sales, we find a lot of collectibles on eBay, a great resource for “specialty” collectors.
This week we were very excited to see something extra special among the usual early-era advertisements, promotional trinkets, and signage we typically see. Up for bid was a circa 1925 Antique Michelin Man Air Pump Compressor. This is an amazing piece of Michelin memorabilia, which we thought about bidding on for about two seconds until we saw that the 10th and current bid was up to $910. Whoa!
We have each only seen one of these guys just twice before. The first time was when we were kids. A neighbor of our grandfather had one in his garage. Of course, we were completely enamored with it. The second time was this past April, when or wives encouraged us to watch one of their favorite HISTORY Channel shows – American Restoration. The episode (we it looked up and discovered it was called “Hot & Salty”) featured, among other things, the restoration of one of those very compressors! The before and after results were extremely impressive!
So you can imagine our excitement when we saw that Michelin Man compressor on eBay. That was, as we mentioned, until we saw the price. With the auction not ending until July 4th, the price could even surpass $1,000. We thought perhaps the recent appearance on a popular cable show might have driven up the value on this item, until we saw that in a September 2011 auction, long before the airing of the show, our compressor friend fetched quite a bit more. I think maybe this cool Michelin Man collectible would be more our speed,which is apparently 33 1/3rd.
We wish everyone a Happy 4th of July and safe travels!