Tuesday, April 25, 2006

More on Chuckwagons

John "Wishbone" Willems, of Kansas City, email me last week with some advise for those who're interested in purchasing a chuckwagon. He believes the chuckwagon offered on eBay last week is "not worth what they are asking for it." The auction ended this afternoon at $3,150. The wagon didn't sell as the reserve price wasn't met. The seller hasn't re-listed the wagon as of this writing.

A good wagon can be found under $10,000, said John. These wagons come complete with "more cooking equipment and three times as many (Dutch ovens)" as the wagon on eBay last week.

Where does the serious chuckwagon buyer turn? Rope Burns Magazine, recommends John. The magazine "comes out every other month (and) has wagons posted in it every now and then."

John says that you can buy wagons for around $1,500 to $3,000 stripped bare of cooking equipment. They will be road worthy, emphasizes John. He recommends searching the horse drawn equipment category on eBay.

Today, John emailed with a recommended website. Guidelines for a Trail Wagon, says: "The wagons should be historically correct, authentically restored or authentic replicas, drivable, with wagon bed at least two sideboards high, painted or unpainted, with or without Dutch oven boot or possum belly; no iron wheeled farm wagons; no rubber-tired wagons." View the website for a complete list of "must haves" for an authentic chuckwagon of the 1860s to 1890s.

John is looking to buy a wagon in the next five years. In the mean time, you'll find this accomplished Dutch oven cook working the host chuckwagon Saturday, May 6, 2006 at a local competition.

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