Sentimental Iron

I was recently browsing YouTube and came across a very interesting documentary. {A link can be found above} The video is called “Strange Inheritance ~ Iowa Tractor”

The synopsis is a Iowa farmer amassed a large collection of 150 tractors, which was left after his passing. The family dealt with the drama of what was to become of the collection and the final outcome was, of course, a auction. The battle lines were drawn, but only 23 tractors stayed in the family. A grandson had bought the family farmstead. He informed that the storage may be empty now, maybe in the years to come the buildings would be refilled with his owned collection.

This documentary delivers the story very well, and I compliment the creators for their professionalpresentation. I highly recommend anyone to take a few minutes and view the story.

I was slightly put off by a opening remark made by one daughter being interviewed. My reply “What some view as eccentric, others may find common place.” I guess many of my friends would be considered “odd” by those that don’t understand. There are many large collections right here close by in central IL.

There is no doubt a collection is a investment. The larger the collection, there is more effort to maintain. Its understandable that carrying on the legacy after the interested collector’s passing could be viewed a burden. Auctions are a logical course.

I find the sentimental attachment to particular pieces interesting. I’m guilty of this. My dad’s Case 130 lawn tractor will always grace my collection. That Case is somewhat uncommon in my area, but to me that particular 130 is priceless. I was given half ownership of the tractor before Dad had passed away. I always viewed that as honorary and considered the Case as only his tractor. I still do now. Its Dad’s, I just take care of it.

Its identification reads Dad and me, but the tractor will always be his

A few years ago a friend to many in this region passed. The son started selling off his dad’s tractors. Some ended up in other local collections and are still around in the area. One or two tractors have changed owners a couple of times, but fortunately they’re still in the neighborhood. The other sold tractors are now gone to who knows where

At some point, the son had a change of heart and realized selling tractors might not be his best interest. There was a little regret for the loss of a few tractors, but he did end up retaining some of his dad’s collection from that point.

I’ve observed that tractor collecting reaches across generations of families. The combination of brothers, fathers & sons, most times reaching into the third generation. This passion isn’t just a boys club by an means. There are many women actively involved in collecting agricultural equipment.

Sentimental Iron will probably always be a phenomenon. There are many stories of people seeking out and sometimes happily regaining a tractor that granddad had. Other collections will be destined to stay in the family, for further time to come. For others, there is always auctions. In any case the cherished machine, more than likely, passes to someone that will continue to enjoy having ownership.

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