Actor Bill Paterson, a friend and fan of the seminal modern Scottish artist at last night's auction in The Lighthouse in Glasgow, was among those who want the famous piece to stay.
The George Wyllie Foundation, which will be formally launched next month, and has a large number of his most important works in its possession, was privately hoping that whoever bought the piece would lend it back.
Mr Wyllie, who died last year aged 90, created the Straw Locomotive in 1987, the Paper Boat in 1990, and the Running Clock outside Glasgow's Buchanan Bus Station.
He is lauded as one of the most influential artists of the past 50 years.
The ashes of the original Straw Locomotive, which hung from a crane at The Glasgow Garden Festival in 1987, are now kept in a box by the Wyllie's family.
The second version of the artist's original piece, a full-scale rendition of a classic steam engine made from straw, sold for £14,500 to an unidentified buyer at the sale of items from the studio at his home in Gourock, Inverclyde, at the Lighthouse in Glasgow.
Mr Wyllie had kept the small-scale locomotive in his studio after it was commissioned on behalf of the City of Glasgow.
Mr Paterson suggested: "It could go to the Museum of Transport."
Wyllie admirer James Dickson, a private art collector who had contemplated buying the piece said: "Really this is something that should be placed somewhere like the Burrell Collection as a lasting tribute to him."
It was standing room only as the 44 works, valued at £40,000 sold. Amongst those showing an interest in the auction were Pat Lally, former leader of Glasgow City Council and Lord Provost of Glasgow.
Wyllie's Straw Locomotive was a commentary on the loss of the West of Scotland's traditional heavy industries and was ceremonially burnt.
The second version, a metre-long replica of the original, featured in the recent retrospective of Wyllie's work.
Last year's year-long celebration of the artist's life and work, The Whysman Festival, was honoured with a Creative Scotland Award.