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More Than 200 Tractors Displayed in Auburn

by Jerry Goshert

Published: Friday, April 2, 2021

After a year of cancellations, area tractor enthusiasts were excited to display their collections at the Winter Tractor and Gas Engine Show on March 18-20 in Auburn. The event, organized by the Farm Power Club, boasted over 200 tractors, including this year's feature, Oliver.

Actually, last year's winter tractor show in Auburn happened just before the ban on mass gatherings went into effect. Since then, local tractor collectors haven't had much to celebrate.

"Last year was kind of a bummer," said Nelson LeCount, an Oliver tractor collector from Wawaka. Most of the shows were cancelled, so he and his wife Joy hosted one at their farm in September. The show was for people, like himself, who owned the 500 and 600 series tractors made by the David Brown Co. in England. In the early 1960s, the company manufactured Oliver tractors on contract.

LeCount is fascinated by the David Brown tractors and even started a registry of Oliver 500s/600s, documenting owners, photographs and locations of these tractors around the world.

During last month's show in Auburn, LeCount brought two of those European-made tractors. He spent most of the time chatting with fellow collectors and others who stopped by to say hello.

Bruce Bell, one of the show's organizers, said the show had something for everyone, including a special area for muscle tractors from the 1960s and up. There was also a toy show, craft show, seminars, trading post and swap meet. Another highlight was a Friday evening banquet.

Jeff Kimpel of Auburn and Tom Haupert of Butler were spotted meandering through the long line of Oliver tractors on March 19. Both are collectors and said it was "relaxing" to attend a live, in-person show.

This year looks to be a good one for Oliver tractor collectors. The annual Northeast Indiana Steam and Gas Show on Aug. 12-14 will host the Oliver Gang Summer Show, featuring 500 and 600 tractors, along with other makes and models. That event will be held at the LaGrange County 4-H Fairgrounds in LaGrange.

LeCount was full of excitement when asked what it felt like to be at a live tractor show.

"It's great," he said. "That's all I can say. It's great. Better yet, it's nice to see the people who come out to the shows. There's just something about personal contact with people that makes life pretty interesting."

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