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Best Ever Collection of Early Deere Tractors
"It's the largest and most complete collection of early Deere tractors ever assembled," says Louis Toavs, Wolf Point, Mont., a grain farmer who began collecting Deere tractors nearly eight years ago and now owns more than 400 "collectors items".
A trip through Toavs' collection is like a tour through the history of Deere & Co. He plans to build a museum in Wolf Point to house his collection, along with a history of the company.
Toavs' goal when he started collecting was to collect one of every Deere tractor made from 1923 to 1953. Not only has he accomplished that goal, but collected a number of other rare models besides.
When collecting, Toavs often ends up with a large number of the same tractor model. He explains that it often takes at least two or three tractors of each model to make one good one. He also buys large quantities of green paint 100 gal. at a time and other materials needed to resetore the tractors to original operating condition.
The big collection of Deere tractors is lined up in chronological order inside 10 farm buildings. In addition to having at least one of every Deere tractor made from 1923 to 1953, he also owns replicas of the Dain tractor built in 1918 and the Froelich built in 1892, plus six Waterloo Boys and a Hawkins. He also owns one of Deere's 8020 4-WD tractors built in 1959 and discontinued because "they were ahead of their time".
One of Toavs' most unusual tractors is his 1949 "R", which was the first Deere diesel tractor ever to come off the assembly line. He hauled it home himself from the factory in Waterloo just after it was built. Its serial number confirms the fact that it was the first one Deere ever sold.
For more information, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Louis Toavs, Box 2045, Wolf Point, Mont. 59201.


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1985 - Volume #9, Issue #4