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Collector Displays Pedal Tractors On Special Trailer
Only original pedal tractors attract Stan Lichtenberg's attention. The Neligh, Neb., collector has managed to collect about 300 original pedal tractors with no reproductions. He and his son, Ryan, display them on a custom-built trailer and show them off at parades within a 60-mile radius of their home.
  "The trailer is just 15 in. off the ground so the tractors are very visible," Lichtenberg says. The 8 by 48-ft. trailer can hold up to 80 tractors. The back tires of each tractor straddle wooden blocks secured to the trailer bed and a strap holds the tractors in place when the trailer is being pulled on the highway. Lichtenberg and his son plan to build a platform for a second deck to hold even more tractors.
  The collection started in 1984 when a brother-in-law gave Lichtenberg a pedal tractor. Lichtenberg bought another and another, and so it went.
  "At the time I was spending a lot of time on farms," the 40-year tire salesman says. "I saw them in yards and brought them for $25 to $50."
  He enjoys completely restoring them taking them apart, bead blasting off old paint, priming and painting the pieces, assembling the tractors, priming and painting them again, and adding decals. He uses original parts when he can, including the wheels, but the tire salesman says he puts new tires on all of his tractors.
  "They look nicer," he says, and it's appropriate since he has a Lichtenberg Tire, Inc. sign on the trailer.
  It's a little about promotion, Lichtenberg says, but it's more about just sharing his collection. People gather around the trailer before and after parades to get a good look.
  "My favorite ones are the Olivers," Lichtenberg says. "Fewer were made so they are harder to find."
  Know what you are buying, he advises people interested in collecting, to avoid paying a lot of money for reproductions and not originals. Pedal tractors are available on eBay and at toy shows and auctions, but the days of buying them for $50 or less are long gone.
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Stan Lichtenberg, 807 East 1st St., Neligh, Neb. 68756 (ph 402 887-4251 or 402 887-4639; antrearc@frontiernet.net).

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2008 - Volume #32, Issue #2