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. I’ve been using the extra free time to pursue one of my favorite hobbies – collecting tire memorabilia and advertising. While I do occasionally find treasures at local garage sales, I find a lot of collectibles on eBay, a great resource for “specialty” collectors.
This week I was super excited to see something extra special among the usual early-era advertisements, promotional trinkets, and signage I typically see. Up for bid was a circa 1925 Antique Michelin Man Air Pump Compressor. This is an amazing piece of Michelin memorabilia, which I thought about bidding on for about two seconds until I saw that the 10th and current bid was up to $910. Whoa!
I had seen one of these guys just twice before. The first time was when I was a kid. A neighbor of my grandfather had one in his garage. Of course, I was completely enamored with it. The second time was this past April, when my husband encouraged me to watch one of his favorite HISTORY Channel shows – American Restoration. The episode (I looked up and discovered 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 my excitement when I saw that Michelin Man compressor on eBay. That was, as I mentioned, until I saw the price. With the auction not ending until July 4th, the price could even surpass $1,000. I thought perhaps the recent appearance on a popular cable show might have driven up the value on this item, until I saw that in a September 2011 auction, long before the airing of the show, my compressor friend fetched quite a bit more. I think maybe this cool Michelin Man collectible would be more my speed, which is apparently 33 1/3rd.
I wish everyone a Happy 4th of July and safe travels!