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Collector Focuses On Gibson Tractors
Carl Hauger came by his tractor collecting habit honestly as he grew up on a farm near both Moline, the home of John Deere, and the Farmall plant at Rock Island, Ill.
“My dad always had older machinery like most everyone in our area,” says Hauger. “All the farmers nearby had either one or the other make of tractor.”
Early on, he started collecting a few garden tractors, then expanded to full-size tractors.
“I bought my first Gibson from a collector in Kentucky, and that purchase really sparked my interest,” he says. “They’re a fairly well-built tractor – they operate smoothly and aren’t cumbersome.”
This appeal resulted in Hauger growing his collection to 40 Gibsons, including four or five strictly for parts. Most are packed tightly in his barn, but he hopes to spread them out someday.
Gibson began building tractors around 1946 in Seattle, Wash., and later moved their manufacturing facilities to Longmont, Colo. All models were relatively underpowered and overpriced for how they were advertised, and as their competition grew, their numbers declined, making them highly sought after today. Production stopped in 1954 when Gibson declared bankruptcy.
Hauger’s favorites include a Super D with a center-mounted steering wheel which he found still sporting a Western Auto sticker. This is notable as this batch of D’s were technically Gibsons but sold through Western Auto, who put out a few tractors with yellow wheels.
“This tractor was never used in the dirt,” Hauger says. “The story is that it was bought and used in a factory, sold to another collector who passed on, then sold again at the estate sale.”
Another of his favorites is a 1948 SD with all original tires and paint. These models featured a side-mounted steering wheel and sported red hoods with yellow accents.
“Like any collector, I’m always on the hunt for more, although I’m pickier now,” Hauger says. “They must be the right ones to add to my collection.”
He’s hoping to find models with white fronts, especially the larger H and I versions that came with 4 and 6-cyl. engines, plus one of Gibson’s experimental tractors that were sold by Montgomery Ward.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Carl Hauger, Sherrard, Ill. (ph 563-529-2941; 1938sears@gmail.com).

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2023 - Volume #47, Issue #2