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Speedex Tractor Website A Treasure Trove Of Information
Mike Hamper might be the world’s number one Speedex tractor fan. He runs a website (www.speedextractorinformation.com) where you can learn about the rare tractor brand. For a $10 annual membership you get access to the Speedex collector community.
  “An avid collector started the website, but he couldn’t afford to keep it going,” says Hamper. “I bought it, and we use supporting memberships to cover its costs.”
  Speedex tractors, both riders and walk-behinds, were built in the U.S. from 1935 through 1999. Started as the Pond Tractor Co. by Harold Pond, he changed the name to Speedex and in 1938 developed the Model B, considered the first 4-wheel garden tractor in the U.S.
  Hamper has been enamored with the little tractors since he saw an S24 for sale in 1966. He told his dad it looked like a miniature Ford Ferguson. It was complete with a full set of attachments.
  “We used it in our gardens for years, and eventually I bought it,” says Hamper, an Ohio graphic artist and programmer.
  Eventually he began doing graphics for Speedex, which had gone through various iterations and owners. In 1994 the then owner sold the company and gave Hamper a box of memorabilia. A chart in the box gave parts numbers associated with different years’ tractors.
  “I went back and looked at my S24 and discovered it was the first one of that model off the assembly line,” says Hamper.
  Since then he has collected more memorabilia and attended many meets. He has also collected 18 Speedex tractors, 5 of which are working tractors that he uses around his small farm. When he started, the old garden tractors could be picked up for $10 to $20.
  “Today my best guess is that an S24 fully restored sells for up to $800,” says Hamper.
Thanks to his work for the company, some of which he was never paid for, Hamper has full rights of reproduction of all decals and designs. With his graphic arts expertise, he reproduces decals and sells T-shirts and baseball caps with Speedex logos and tractors on them.
  “I sell the decals and clothes on eBay to help support the website.”
  The public side of the website offers belt size information, as well as downloadable tractor manuals for many models. It also offers information on Speedex tractor shows. The home page includes links to photo galleries of riding tractors and walk-behinds, as well as implements and attachments once available.
  “We now have more than 750 photos in our collection thanks to people sending in their pictures,” says Hamper. “We also have a map where people can post a pin for their location and list the tractors they own.”
  Other pages include parts, a small classified ad section and a page where Hamper posts videos. The parts page directs visitors to an array of parts supplier websites and phone numbers.
  The supporting member site offers even more, including discussion groups and opportunities to connect with other collectors. It also includes a video gallery and access to more than 40 brochures and other pieces of sales literature.
  Hamper emphasizes a hope that the website collections will continue to grow. “We are always looking for memorabilia,” he says.
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Michael E. Hamper, 1507 Lenox New Lyme Rd., Jefferson, Ohio 44047 (ph 440 576-4281; mhamper1@roadrunner.com; www.speedextractorinformation.com).

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2015 - Volume #39, Issue #6