Thursday, June 8Welcome

Memories of a Lifetime: Elmer’s Car and Toy Museum Collection Sells for $8.5 Million in Wisconsin – Post Bulletin

FOUNTAIN CITY, Wisconsin — After 29 years of happily sharing a collection of cars and toys, the Duelman family honored Elmer Duellman with a once-in-a-lifetime auction.

Elmer and his wife, Bernadette, shared a treasure trove of classic cars, motorcycles, pedal cars, bicycles, tools, and antique toys at Elmer’s Auto & Toy Museum in Fountain City, Wisconsin. The vast collection was spread across his five barns on the property. After Elmer passed away in July 2019, the Duelman family continued to operate the museum until his Labor Day 2022.

The auction, held September 14-17, 2022, celebrated Elmer’s love of the item and provided visitors with a nostalgic experience. Mecum Auction he held an event of 2,020 items and total sales reached his $8.5 million.

“I love people,” Elmer said in a 2012 Post Bulletin interview. “It’s fun to share it with them when they come here.”

The final celebration attracted bidders from all over the world. Brothers Brad and Les, two of Elmer’s six children, said the auction items were on average higher than expected.

“We’re fulfilling Dad’s wish…to share each creation with the world so that they can create new memories,” Brad said.

From family members to collectors, Mr. and Mrs. Duelman know their items are in their new homes. But the day of the auction was “bittersweet,” Les said. The Duelmans drove cars and motorcycles, presented at auto shows, and played with toys at family gatherings.

“It’s pretty heartbreaking to see other people buying collections and things that my family had when I was growing up, or later, or even when I was a child.” said Les.

The collection includes over 100 classic cars, including a 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS that grossed $242,000. Here are the top 10 car sales at auction:

  • 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS $242,000
  • 1959 Chevrolet Impala Convertible $121,000
  • 1966 Plymouth Hemi Belvedere I $110,000
  • 1969 Dodge Charger 500 $104,500
  • 1958 Chevrolet Delray $99,000
  • 1958 Chevrolet Impala Convertible $90,200
  • 1935 Auburn 851 Cabriolet, $88,000
  • 1966 Pontiac GTO $84,700
  • 1964 Amphikar 770 $77,000
  • 1957 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible $77,000

Here are the top 10 motorcycle sales at auction:

  • 1940 Indian Four $99,000
  • 1947 Harley-Davidson FL Knucklehead $55,000
  • $49,500 1941 Harley-Davidson ULH with sidecar
  • 1937 Harley-Davidson Big Twin Flathead with Sidecar $49,500
  • 1947 Indian Chief $38,500
  • 1921 Cleveland $27,500
  • 1951 Harley-Davidson Panhead $25,300
  • 1959 Indian/Royal Enfield Chief $24,200
  • 1964 Harley-Davidson Duo Glide Panhead $22,000
  • 1968 Harley-Davidson FLH Electra Glide $19,800

Elmer also displayed 700 pedal cars at the museum, including a specially commissioned series of Camaro and Superbird pedal cars. A large and quality collection of pedal cars is preserved at the Speedway Museum in Lincoln, Nebraska.

“These guys in the pedal car world know where these old cars are. There are only a few left and the rest will be destroyed during WWII , because it was recycled for the war, they know where the originals of this and that are and Elmer has some of it and only one original left. It’s something you can only buy once,” said Brad.

The top 10 road arts in the auction include:

  • 1970 Plymouth Road Runner Superbird Pedal Car (Lot F100) $59,000
  • 1970 Richard Petty Plymouth Superbird Pedal Car (Lot F400) $47,200
  • 1969 Dodge Charger Daytona Pedal Car (Lot F300) $37,760
  • 1929 Ford Snap-On Wood Toolbox (Lot F250) $35,400
  • Charger Daytona Pedal Car (Lot F200) $29,500
  • Clown Pedal Car Merry-Go-Round (Lot T300) $28,320
  • 1927 American National Lincoln Pedal Car (Lot W377) $25,960
  • Valvoline Motor Oil Manco Products Go Kart (Lot T247) $24,780
  • 1936 G-Man Cruiser Pedal Car (Lot W375) $23,600
  • 1934 Packard 5-in-1 Pedal Car (Lot W250) $23,600
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A vintage pedal car on display at the Elmers Auto & Toy Museum in Fountain City, Wisconsin.


Brad said the Duelman family welcomes museum visitors from every state except Delaware and Vermont, and from every continent except Antarctica.

Like his father, Elmer, who remembered every item’s story, Brad said:

“We were always encouraged to use cars, drive, play together. , aunts, etc.,” Les said. .

As Les explained, many memories were left in the driveway as items for sale, but thousands of toys from the toy collection were never sold. For more information, visit the Elmers Auto & Toy Museum Facebook page.

“I have a lot of good memories here,” said Elmer.

“When I went to Milwaukee, when I was 5 or 6 years old, I have memories like Imperial Riding in ’73. I learned the details and how to present them.I went to pick up different toys to help my dad or move him,” Brad said. “There are memories behind everything”

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A vintage pedal car on display at Elmer’s Auto &. Toy Museum in Fountain City, Wisconsin. The collection will go up for auction in his September 2022.


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