Car buyers from all around to come to Ames for auction

Vernon Johnson

This weekend, area residents and people from across the state and

country will come to Ames for an auction by the Iowa Department of


The auction will be held Saturday at 9 a.m. and will feature 70 used


“Last time, we had 800 to 1,000 people,” said Bruce Dutton, surplus

manager for the DOT. “You never know what will happen.”

“We get dealers to private individuals, foreign students and farmers,”

Dutton said, “customers come from all over the U.S.”

Because so many people arrive from all over the country, the auction

will proceed in any weather condition said Ken Shuey, DOT surplus


“If it does rain, buyers have to get wet,” Shuey said.

Shuey, remembering an auction two years ago, said, “We didn’t cancel

during an ice storm and we received more money for some of the stuff at

that auction.”

Auction patrons go to extraordinary lengths to come to the


“We fax information to a person in Alaska all the time,” Dutton


Shuey added, “we used to have a guy from California fly in for the

auction and drive his truck back.”

This auction won’t be the only one of its kind this year. The DOT has

seven every year. Four are all-vehicle auctions and three feature small

equipment, such as office equipment and snow blowers.

The money from the auctions goes into a revolving fund. “This fund

replaces equipment that we may need,” said Dutton.

The DOT has made anywhere from $20,000 to $500,000 from their auctions

in the past, Shuey said.

Neither Shuey or Dutton had any tips for any first time buyers at an


“They used to say don’t buy the first one or the last one, but that

doesn’t always work,” Shuey said, “you can’t predict these people.”

The auction items can be inspected at the lot at South Fourth Street

and Oak Avenue from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday and from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m.


Since this is an open auction, the employees are allowed to participate

in the auction.

“I have bought a snowblower and it has worked for years,” Shuey


Winning bidders must pay a non-refundable $200 deposit, and final

payment must be made by June 23.

Copyright 1995 by the Iowa State Daily Publications Board. All rights reserved.

No redistribution without the express written consent of the Iowa State Daily Editor in Chief.