Welcome to the Fred Ertl, Jr. Collection at GoMotorBids.com. We are truly honored to have been selected by Mr. Ertl to facilitate the auction of his own private collection. Mr. Ertl is truly a legend to Diecast collectors from around the world; his company is often credited as being at the forefront of the hobby – creating collectibles for almost every type of vehicle imaginable. The items you'll be seeing here each week will include never-produced factory one-offs, factory prototypes, early licensing samples, and other rare & unique pieces that Mr. Ertl has been accumulating for more than 50 years.
Fred Ertl, Jr. was born in Dubuque, IA on June 6, 1930. His father, a German immigrant, was a sand molder by trade, but when his factory went on strike he still had 5 children to feed. Fred, Sr. started melting aluminum from a local junk yard in the furnace of their home and making toy tractors when Fred, Jr. was 15. He, his mother, and his brothers would paint and assemble them in the kitchen, then load them into their car to sell to anyone who would buy.
When Fred Jr. was 18, his father became very ill and he had to take over the family's business. At that time they had a small factory in Dubuque, which produced tens-of-thousands of toy tractors up until 1959, when they had finally outgrown that facility and moved the operation to Dyersville, Iowa. The family sold the business to Victor Comptometer Corp. in 1967. In 1977 Walter Kidde Corp bought the company and in 1987 it was sold again to Hanson Trust LLC. During all the acquisitions Fred Ertl, Jr. remained as President & CEO until he retired in 1992.
During his tenure, The Ertl Co. acquired Carter Tru Scale, MPC Plastic Models, AMT Model kits, Esci Models, and Structo Steel Trucks. The Ertl Co. had operations in England, Italy, Europe, Australia, Hong Kong, Mexico and China.
Fred worked very hard for his various associations. He served on the Board and was President of the Toy Manufacturers of America (TMA) and the Hobby Industry Association. During his tenure as Pres. Of the TMA the first Toy Safety Standards were developed. Fred was inducted into the Toy Industry Hall of Fame in New York, the Farm Toy Hall of Fame in Dyersville IA, and this year was named the first "Legends of the Industry" by the Hobby Association.
Legendary Toy Maker Fred Ertl Jr. Auctions Off Portion of his Incredible Personal Collection. from GoMotorBids on Vimeo.
An on-going auction by gomotorbids.com, photos by Ken Smith of Design Photography