Remember that big auction of Porsche tractors and other European farm equipment last weekend? It’s was live online via Proxibid, archived auction results here.

Now you would think that an auction of historic and in some cases pretty rare (first swedish tractors I’ve ever seen) in the Dakotas would create little local interest, and without online bidding opening up a worldwide marketplace, the bids would be low. But turned out, over 80% of the bids were onsite! Did a bunch of Porsche enthusiasts take a long drive in the country to take in the auction? Didn’t look like it, I dropped in friday for the previews day and Porsches were nowhere in sight, other than the tractors. What I did see was several locals with their pickups and fifth wheel trailers, grabbing the best loading spots for after saturday’s auction. A few were from far enough away to patronize the local motels, But most of the plates on their pickups were from South Dakota and adjoining states.

So all that Proxibid may have accomplished is to set a floor in the pre-auction bidding, and judging by how fast the prices rose once the live auction started, in most cases it was a low false floor. One of the few pieces I was following was a German made aircooled VW powered small tractor which my onsight inspection, judging by it’s frozen steering and assorted rustiness, suggested that it might need a lot of work and $500 would be a generous bid for it. Sure ’nuff, it got bid well over that before the auction even started, and the online bidders pushed it to $1300. Hope they didn’t pay for it before they got a good look at it. Was following another small tractor, a more common ‘merican made Economy tractor, sorta like a Cub Cadet with some lovable rough edges and restored to boot… Didn’t bring much interest online, but was bid up onsite to $1000, but still a good deal.

So in he world of old tractors, the internet ain’t worth much!

Then last evening VW group, in their usual spirit of accidental transparency, posted a whole training course on how dealers were to deal with the upcoming buyback and emissions “fix” of the 2 liter TDI diesels on their “Audi Academy” website. Heck, the whole damn website was wide open, as a bunch of us over at the TDI Club forums soon discovered. Sometime during the night that leak got plugged, and I doubt the leak was discovered by a hard working admin at VW Group’s web host. Looks like VW Group is monitoring TDI Club and probably other forums like VW Vortex, etc.. And given that VW has paid social media “Ambassadors” roaming cyberspace, no surprise.

Which is really nothing unusual, ‘cept that most manufacturers hide tons of non secret training and technical data behind log in screens and worse… What are they hiding? Are the selling points for their latest Stupid Useless Vehicle that big a secret? And what the heck, probably Russian hackers already have the plans for the next generation whatever, and they’re busy selling them to the Chinese so they can beat the western automaker to market with a knockoff anyway.

Ahh, the “power” of the internet…