More than 1,000 people attended this year's public auction at Pittsburgh International Airport. (Photo by Bob Kerlik)

Airport Auction: Bomb Truck to Become Mobile Wine Bar

A rundown police bomb squad truck sold at Pittsburgh International Airport’s annual auction will get new life thanks to a noteworthy buyer with plans to turn it into a mobile wine bar.

Franco “Dok” Harris, son of Steelers Hall of Famer Franco Harris, said he happened across an online listing of items to be sold at the Oct. 19 auction.

“Then I saw the bomb truck and I went, ‘Uh oh – one of those? I guess I kind of have to bid on this,’” Harris said. “The goal right now is to turn it into a portable wine bar for tailgates, for events – something fun where you put some seating, have some awesome wines and really make kind of a showpiece.”

Harris already registered the website Bomb.Bar, where he plans to post information about the truck. He envisions using the portable wine bar for fun with friends, rather than sales.

“You go to a lot of tailgates, you see a lot of really cool vehicles, and they used to be like ambulances and things like that,” said Harris, who unsuccessfully ran for Pittsburgh mayor and city council in the past. “But there’s only one bomb truck.”

Harris paid $8,500 for the truck, part of the busiest auction the airport has seen since it began nearly a decade ago. Sales totaled approximately $228,000.

 

More than 1,000 people attended with even more bidding online, like Harris did. Everything from jewelry to iPads and phones to a rice maker to abandoned vehicles were sold. The most popular trucks – a 2015 GMC Sierra Denali and an Oshkosh fire truck – sold for $46,000 each. A 2015 Dodge Ram pickup brought in $31,000.

The auction featured old airport equipment, like the fire truck and bomb squad truck, as well as items left behind in the terminal such as jewelry, electronics, books, a Steamfast carpet cleaner and a Kurt Cobain record.

Tanay Williams thought she got a good deal on the two iPads she bought for $325 and a bag of rings that cost her $100.

“Hopefully they actually work, right? Because it’s ‘as is,’” said Williams, who has been to an auction before. “This one was pretty good, but you have to spend a lot of time.”

Laurie Bonnett scooped up a Bluetooth Bose speaker for $173 that had been left at the airport. Proceeds from lost and found items go to the Airport Authority Charitable Foundation.

“It was great fun,” Bonnett said. “I got a deal and the money goes for a good cause.”

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