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Visited Big Gt Collection

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#1 Canawler OFFLINE  



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Posted June 11, 2014 - 10:20 AM

Last week I started a tread on my recently purchased MTD 860 and I promised to tell about the seller’s GT collection so here goes.


I was admiring two Tiger tractors at the Little Guys show a few weeks back and struck up a conversation with the owner.  He came over later and saw my 990 and mentioned the 860 he was selling.  In the conversation it came up that he had a lot of Panzers and while he doesn’t sell Panzers he might be willing to let go of a deck for a Meteor.  He also said he had well over 300 GTs and he told Nutndun he had quite a few Bush Hogs including an HD-12.  George immediately said I needed to take one for the team and purchase the MTD so I could see the guy’s collection and confirm the Bush Hog story. :D 


I made arrangements and visited the guy's place Sunday a week ago.

I'm not one to embrace modern text abbreviations but it's fitting here.  All I can say is OMG!!  What a nice guy (and his dad as well) and what an incredible collection.  It was on an old farmstead that appeared not to have been farmed in quite some time.  But as with all old farmsteads there were multiple outbuildings and every building was crammed with tractors.  Inside, outside, underneath, in the fence rows, in box trucks, in semi trailers, you name it, GTs everywhere.  I didn't see an outhouse but if there had been, I bet it would have had a Bantam in it.  Even one prized possession, an WH RJ-58? (I think - not real familiar with WH models but he said it was a first year,) on the back porch.


It was GT overload for me as I can't begin to remember everything I saw and I might not get everything I mention 100% correct.  Of the stuff he collects I'm only very familiar with the Panzer stuff so assume I'm unaware of the significance of items for the other brands and might not mention them.  Until I hear otherwise, I'm going to assume this is the biggest Panzer collection in the country?  He did say he has the second biggest Tiger collection and he was closing in on number one. :smilewink:


I figure it's easier just to list it:

over 130 Panzers focusing on earlier Copar models

several College Park produced Model A Panzers

I believe he had at least one of every Panzer model produced

3 of the front end loader Panzer T70s

an NOS Woods front deck for a Panzer

multiples of just about every Panzer attachment

a saw attachment for a Panzer

a T70 with every available option


around 40 Tiger tractors and tons of attachments

I'm not familiar with tiger models but he had a larger one (think Gibson size) that was one of seven known to exist


maybe two dozen Bush Hogs

multiple Bush Hog attachments

approx. 10 D4-10s

a Jabilina

an HD-12 (don't remember if he said he had an HD-10 or not)

a Bush Hog dump cart


several early Economys

3 Jaques Mighty Mites

a couple early Bolens Ride-A-Matics

5-6 Cub Originals and several 70s & 100s

I saw only one JD and don't remember the model but might have been a 112?

1 or 2 of the late '60s Gilson built machines sold under various brands

1 or 2 Beaver tractors

several Speedex tractors

a Gibson tractor


He had a thing for small riders also:

3 or 4 Simplicity Serfs

several WH RJs

3 or 4 Mustangs

several small Fords (model 70 - 75 - 80 ??)

a small MTD built Squire

a Bantam or two


Again, I can't stress enough that I'm sure I'm forgetting some rare stuff here.


I saw some of the rare Panzer literature and it sounds like he had a huge collection of sales and service literature for multiple brands.  He said he tries to get as much of that type of stuff as possible to go with each tractor.  He had at one point bought out a Panzer dealer stock so had pretty much every sales and service bulletin they put out along with stacks of sales brochures and op manuals.  He had a least a dozen brand new copies of one of the Panzer brochures he showed me.  There's a picture floating around on the internet of a Panzer plowing snow at the White House.  He had the original poster size picture.  He also had two large, maybe 10 -12 ft long, Panzer lettering / signs for the front of a Panzer dealer's building.


I ended up with the MTD 860, a mower deck for my Meteor, and a small Meteor sales brochure that he had doubles of.  Plus one heck of a good time meeting him and looking at his collection. :thumbs:

I of course mentioned GTTalk but he didn't seem very interested.  I'd love to see his knowledge base available to the hobby and boy would I love to spend a day at his place with a scanner.


I'm sure some on here know this guy but he's trying to keep somewhat quiet so I'm not mentioning any names or locations and I didn't want to slap any pictures all over the internet so you're out of luck there .... :poke:  :D

Edited by Canawler, June 11, 2014 - 10:26 AM.

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#2 crittersf1 OFFLINE  


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Posted June 11, 2014 - 11:33 AM

:wtf: That's just teasing.

Edited by crittersf1, June 11, 2014 - 11:34 AM.

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#3 JDBrian OFFLINE  


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Posted June 11, 2014 - 12:09 PM

Sounds like a nice collection. If it were mine I'd have to ask myself why I had it if nobody ever gets to see it. I guess I'm just not a collector.

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#4 grand OFFLINE  



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Posted June 11, 2014 - 12:31 PM

Thanks for the post Jim. Sure sounds like these folks have quite a collection. Good to know they were nice folks and willing to show you their large inventory.

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#5 glgrumpy OFFLINE  


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Posted June 11, 2014 - 01:47 PM

Yeah, just "possesions" to Him, if no one else shares a look. AND, if not really cleaned up and built nice, just more Junk, some relative or gov body is gonna scrap in future when he's gone.  Guess I'm not a collector either, glad I'm seeing the light and getting out of this scene!  :smilewink:

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#6 sacsr OFFLINE  


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Posted June 11, 2014 - 04:44 PM

Thanks for the sharing! I have heard of guys like that with huge collections. I am struggling keeping up and storing my little collection, hard to imagine having 100-200 or more GT's!

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#7 panzersarebest OFFLINE  

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Posted June 11, 2014 - 05:22 PM

Would love to see that collection!! Especially all those Panzers!!!

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#8 superaben OFFLINE  


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Posted June 11, 2014 - 06:21 PM

I would love to see that.


Ben W.

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#9 DougT OFFLINE  


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Posted June 11, 2014 - 07:09 PM

Sounds like a nice collection. If it were mine I'd have to ask myself why I had it if nobody ever gets to see it. I guess I'm just not a collector.

He met him at a show where the guy was showing some of his tractors so its not like nobody sees them. It's hard to haul 100! At least they are being saved. All we can hope is that when the time comes, they are dispersed to other collectors. You can't fault a guy for collecting/hoarding. You just have to wonder where they'd be if he didn't have them? I'd bet a big portion would already be in the scrap.

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#10 Canawler OFFLINE  



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Posted June 11, 2014 - 10:12 PM

I knew this thread would bring up some hoarding comments and here's my take on the hoarding vs. collecting thing. I see both sides of it and it's an issue that bothers me. I've been thinking about it a good bit lately due to this and another 100+ collection locally that a guy will be loosing. This is still a somewhat free country. If you want to have 300+ garden tractors and never show them to anybody then you should be able to do just that. It's your money and your property. Do I like it or think it's a great idea? Heck no, it kills me to realize that in a collection that size probably 90% will literally never get touched. I'd love to see some of these tractors go to some people that would be tickled to have just one Panzer or just one Tiger and would fix them up to use and show. But... who's to say they're not already at a good home? They're being saved. They're not being scrapped and let me tell you, some of the outside tractors probably could be. He does show a lot of them and I'm certainly not the first person to visit his collection. It would be great to have all his literature available online but I realize that would slightly devalue what he has (although not by much as serious collectors want the hard copies.) Also, the guy makes every effort to keep as much as possible inside and he tries to get everything coming into the collection running. As mentioned, there are worse places they could be but at the same time, maybe some of the rougher unsalvageable tractors could be parted to save others?

Another concern here is what happened to the guy in Oregon or Washington state. He was featured on a GT show and when the local municipality got word of his collection he had to get rid of it so fast he wasn't able to sell most of it off and most went to scrap. We have members every now and then on the forum that get clean up notices. You can't be too careful when it comes to letting anyone know what you have.  Sure hope nothing like that ever happens here. (To any govt types reading this thread, it is a completely fictional story...  :smilewink:  )

I don't have the answers as it's a tough issue but one thing is for sure, I had a great time meeting the guy and seeing his collection. I would love to get him involved in the forum as he would be a wealth of knowledge for people fixing up their tractors. There was a topic in the Panzer sub-forum just this week where he could have answered some questions.

Edited by Canawler, June 12, 2014 - 10:10 AM.

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#11 wilberj OFFLINE  

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Posted June 11, 2014 - 11:05 PM

Sounds like me slowly comeing up on 70 bolens now.  So what were the Bolens Ride A Matics?

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#12 IamSherwood OFFLINE  


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Posted June 12, 2014 - 12:03 AM

Wow, that sure would be something to see. Thanks for taking one for the

team, and taking the time to share the experience.

It's nice that the fellow is going to shows, with parts of his collection.

You mentioned that the collection belonged to him and his father.

Sounds like he's young enough still, and who knows, maybe he's

just starting to get serious about showing his goods.

Sure wish I could have been along for the ride.

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#13 MH81 OFFLINE  


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Posted June 12, 2014 - 07:03 AM

Jim, thanks for the reporting :D

We have some issues here too, but are starting to thin the herd a little.
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#14 Canawler OFFLINE  



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Posted June 12, 2014 - 10:06 AM

So what were the Bolens Ride A Matics?


Hate to say it but I'm not very good with Bolens models overall and definitely not with the early ones.  I only looked very closely at one of the Bolens and I want to say it was the same year as Hankg's which looking at his profile shows it as a '57.  The brands this guy only had a few of tended to be early models in general.


I was going to ask about a Bolens model guide online anywhere and then I remembered our tractor wiki on the site here.  I'll have to check that out and see if Ride A Matics are on it yet.





You mentioned that the collection belonged to him and his father.

Sounds like he's young enough still, and who knows, maybe he's

just starting to get serious about showing his goods.



Actually his dad was there as he lived in a newer home nearby but I believe the collection was all owned by the son.  He was early/mid '30s and apparently had been collecting tractors since he was in his single digits.

Edited by Canawler, June 12, 2014 - 10:21 AM.

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