Not Just Another Classic Boat Auction – It’s The Mikkelson Collection Auction!

The Mikkelson Collection Auction presented by Rich Penn Auctions was an enjoyable experience on Saturday. The event had a different feel about it, almost like a local town hall meeting, or a gathering of fellow enthusiasts coming together to help Paul Mikkelson and his family pass his fabulous collection on to the next caretakers. Everyone there on Saturday had smiles on their faces, a kind word for Paul and many had specific plans to bid on an item / or items that interested them.

The folks from Rich Penn Auctions were very organized, very professional and helped create a wonderful, stress free environment for bidders and spectators alike. They also created a certain feeling of being trustworthy and respectful towards Paul Mikkelson and his family, as well as the participants and spectators. The bidders assistants working the floor were alert, but not over aggressive which, in my opinion, made the event an enjoyable place to be.

At the end of Day 1 (almost 10 hours of auctioneering) fellow Woody Boater Jim Staib and I were summarizing the auction / pricing over dinner – Jim put it best when he said “It was quality pricing for quality pieces.” And I agree with that statement. Regardless if it’s classic cars, motorcycles or, in this case, classic boats and marine related equipment, we all know that auctions can be hard to predict. But when the items are high quality, highly collectable, and unusual or unique – if it’s presented properly and respectfully by the auction house, the outcome is a bit more predicatble (and comfortable). This was, for the most part, the case during Day 1 of the auction.

Of course the main attraction of the Mikkelson Collection Auction is the wide variety of Larson Falls Flyers that Paul has assembled over the years, that’s only one apsect of the collection. Taking the time to stop and really look through the collection items is like taking a step back in time, when average folks throughout the mid-west enjoyed all the small lakes and waterways for both recreation and as sportsman.  When product branding really meant something and was easy to identify and relate to by the consumers.

It’s always fun to ask Paul Mikkelson to describe what boats the equipment was from, what company manufactured it and what year it was used – He is like a walking classic boat Encyclopedia…

The collectible marine signs brought strong money all day long… The vintage Mercury Dealer signs were extreamely popular. An original Chris-Craft Dealer sign brought over 5,600.00. In most cases, as soon as the signs were introduced on the block, the price almost immediately shot up towards 600.00 – 800.00 and the bidding was always fast and furious on the signs.

What also makes the Mikkelson Collection Auction “Not just another classic boat auction?” When you buy a boat from Paul Mikkelson, your not just buying a classic boat… Your buying a boat that was formerly owned and maintained by Paul Mikkelson. For example, this early rear-steer Falls Flyer. It’s complete in every way…

And when you look inside, the bow pole, stern pole, burgee, and all the removable accessories are all there neatly stored in a cardboard box. It’s those details that makes buying a boat from Paul Mikkelson an enjoyable and memorable experience. I know, he would have it no other way…

Image Courtesy - Jim Staib, Fine Wood Boats

Jim Staib snapped this shot of a very cool Deluxe Stylemaster by Inland Marine of Madison, Wisconsin. The 1956 14′ molded plywood speedboat is outfitted with a rare Baker Hydrofoil System and a Wizard Super 10 – 10 HP extra long shaft outboard. This boat is scheduled to go across the block on Day 2 – Sunday. And of course, it’s bieng offered for sale with a perfect vintage Tee Nee trailer…

Image Courtesy - Jim Staib, Fine Wood Boats

These rare Human Power Propellers are great… As Jim says, “You can excercise while boating!”

Image Courtesy - Jim Staib, Fine Wood Boats

Another hot seller on Saturday were the rare and unusual vintage outboard motors like these, attracting stong bidding.

Image Courtesy - Jim Staib, Fine Wood Boats

More examples of vintage and reproduction signs, clocks, etc… Very popular.

Image Courtesy - Jim Staib, Fine Wood Boats

Miniature outboard motors were also very hot throughout the day on Saturday, many selling for between 300.00 and 400.00 per pair / set.

Image Courtesy - Jim Staib, Fine Wood Boats

Dealer clocks were also very popular items on Saturday. many were in like new condition or reconditioned.

A favorite item I found was this original Midwest Powerboat Association W-84 team jacket, once owned by racer Gene… Very cool, embroidered piece in excellent condition. If this jacket could talk, what a tale it could tell…

Stay tuned Sunday for more updates from Day 2 Sunday of the Mikkelson Collection Auction presented by Rick Penn Auctions. We are looking forward to it for sure!

Special thanks today to Jim Staib and Dane Anderson who were helping us keep up with the bidding and what the final bid pricies were. Also to Steve Stevenson and Del Van Emmerik for thier insight throughout the day – These guys know their classic boats… And finally, the crew from Rich Penn Auctions.


7 replies
  1. Michael
    Michael says:

    Thank you so much for bringing the stories and images from the auction to our part of the world. What a fantastic collection of wonderful items. Wish we could have been there … but this was the next best thing!

    • Texx
      Texx says:

      Del said he had his eye on a few items. On Saturday Del gave me an extensive Tee Née trailer lesson which was great.

      He is a true craftsman and always finds those rare vintage boating items to restore. A cool guy for sure.

  2. Alex
    Alex says:

    The word that came to mind when I read this story was “class.”

    Class in Mr. Mikkelson and his wonderful collection, and class in how this auction house has handled the event.

    Now more than ever do I wish I was there!

  3. Peter Waldon
    Peter Waldon says:

    I wish I could find the purchaser of the Gene Minar jacket
    I purchased W84 on Friday and was unable to attend Sat. or Sun.

    • Texx
      Texx says:

      Peter – I love that vintage jacket too. As part of the auction wrap-up story, we will ask the question as to who bought it and see what happens…

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