50-Year Collection Includes Hundreds Of Fordsons
Duane Helman has been a Fordson aficionado for more than half a century. He began picking up a few repairables in the 1970’s. “My dad worked at a junkyard when I was a kid, and I got interested in picking through old stuff and had a few Ford Model T’s. I wanted to have more of them, but they got too darn expensive, so I settled into buying different Fordson models.”
He owns serial number 3145 from 1918, a new 1925 model that’s never been used, another with a mounted cultivator, one with a Bell City corn picker, and two that pull combines. He also bought a Fordson road roller, track models, and many others.
Many of the tractors Helman collected were from auctions, which he went to several weeks a year, often out of state. Some were through the Fordson collector’s group, which he helped organize. His collection now numbers more than 100. Helman also has four Model Ts and a handful of old Ford trucks. He’s restored many in his collection since retiring 10 years ago, and most of those unrestored are running. “Now that I’m over 80, I’m probably not restoring too many more,” he says.
In addition to collecting, Helman has spent hundreds of hours repairing carburetors for other Fordson owners. He learned that skill while running his tool-and-die business. “One collector told me I knew enough about Fordson carburetor repair to write a book, to which I quickly replied, ‘God gave me the gift of repairing carburetors, not writing about how to do it’,” he says with a laugh.

  Click here to download page story appeared in.

  Click here to read entire issue

To read the rest of this story, download this issue below or click here to register with your account number.
Order the Issue Containing This Story
2023 - Volume #47, Issue #4