Buddy "L" Int'l Harvester Truck, ca. 1925

Value (2013) | $3,000 Auction$4,000 Auction

My grandfather owned a car dealership up in New Meadows, Idaho, and as part of a promotional item, somebody gave him the truck-- I guess it was International Harvester-- and then he gave it to my dad. And so my dad used to go all over New Meadows in the truck with his knee in the back of this truck, and he'd just run all over with it.

Playing with it?

Playing with it. So it's been well used.

And that's this guy.

And that's that guy.

That's your dad. Well, who's this?

That baby is me on the truck. I think my dad was so proud of the truck, I'm the oldest, the first child, and I think he just wanted me on it.

Well, I'm really glad you brought it here because I like this truck. It's a Buddy L truck, which is one of my favorite toy companies. Buddy L made wonderful steel toys, heavy-duty steel toys made out of the same steel that they made cars out of. This dates from the 1920s, which was when most of the better Buddy L pieces were made. Most of the Buddy L trucks are painted black, and this is a little unusual. It's painted red because it was a copy of an International Harvester truck, and we can see these decals, "International Harvester," here. It's kind of a rare truck. They didn't sell these; this was a promotional item given to dealers. Now, it's a little rough. Somebody had some rough play with this. I don't know who, some rotten kid... (laughing) ...who wore down the paint and things here, you can see. But this particular truck, while it's even in this kind of rough condition, in today's market, at auction, I would say would bring $3,000 to $4,000.

Wow! Even with the condition problems?

Even with this condition. Now, really good condition, if he hadn't played with it so hard, the highest price I know in really good condition was $11,000. So $3,000 to $4,000, still a nice piece, and I'm so glad you brought it in.

Thank you. That's grand.

Appraisal Details

Noel Barrett Antiques & Auctions Ltd.
Carversville, PA
Appraised value (2013)
$3,000 Auction$4,000 Auction
Boise, ID (June 29, 2013)

Executive producer Marsha Bemko shares her tips for getting the most out of ANTIQUES ROADSHOW.

Value can change: The value of an item is dependent upon many things, including the condition of the object itself, trends in the market for that kind of object, and the location where the item will be sold. These are just some of the reasons why the answer to the question "What's it worth?" is so often "It depends."

Note the date: Take note of the date the appraisal was recorded. This information appears in the upper left corner of the page, with the label "Appraised On." Values change over time according to market forces, so the current value of the item could be higher, lower, or the same as when our expert first appraised it.

Context is key: Listen carefully. Most of our experts will give appraisal values in context. For example, you'll often hear them say what an item is worth "at auction," or "retail," or "for insurance purposes" (replacement value). Retail prices are different from wholesale prices. Often an auctioneer will talk about what she knows best: the auction market. A shop owner will usually talk about what he knows best: the retail price he'd place on the object in his shop. And though there are no hard and fast rules, an object's auction price can often be half its retail value; yet for other objects, an auction price could be higher than retail. As a rule, however, retail and insurance/replacement values are about the same.

Verbal approximations: The values given by the experts on ANTIQUES ROADSHOW are considered "verbal approximations of value." Technically, an "appraisal" is a legal document, generally for insurance purposes, written by a qualified expert and paid for by the owner of the item. An appraisal usually involves an extensive amount of research to establish authenticity, provenance, composition, method of construction, and other important attributes of a particular object.

Opinion of value: As with all appraisals, the verbal approximations of value given at ROADSHOW events are our experts' opinions formed from their knowledge of antiques and collectibles, market trends, and other factors. Although our valuations are based on research and experience, opinions can, and sometimes do, vary among experts.

Appraiser affiliations: Finally, the affiliation of the appraiser may have changed since the appraisal was recorded. To see current contact information for an appraiser in the ROADSHOW Archive, click on the link below the appraiser's picture. Our Appraiser Index also contains a complete list of active ROADSHOW appraisers and their contact details and biographies.