Amazing Tractor Collection - WBAY

Amazing Tractor Collection

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A retired Casco farmer has acquired an amazing collection over the past 25 years.

And it's where this collection will go, after he passes away, that makes it even more unique.

"This one here it's the oldest I have, it's a 1930 GP," says Larry Dellis.

He's quite the collector, and character.

"This is one of the first tractors I started collecting, my sister was riding in the back seat with me, she said to me I should buy a hearing aid instead of a tractor, well I didn't listen to her, I bought a tractor instead, I still didn't buy a hearing aid," laughs Dellis.

Dellis guesses it was around 1990 when he caught what his late wife called the green fever.

"It seems that I bought one and then I needed another and then I needed another. Right after the auction she'd say what did you buy, I would tell her, she would say did you need it, my reply was Margaret if I didn't need it I wouldn't have bought it," laughs Dellis.

A few weeks ago, three of Dellis' friends convinced him to pull all of his tractors out of his sheds, shine them up and display them around his home, all 150 of them.

"I'm afraid I spent $4,000 more than what it was worth just to collect it because that was the last one I needed in that series," says Dellis pointing to one of his John Deere tractors.

Dellis' collecting came to a sudden, and almost permanent halt, in 2000.

"14 years ago I fell 17 feet in Luxemburg, the doctor didn't think I was going to make it over night, it's my time to start giving back," says Dellis.

Dellis says when he dies, his entire collection will go to auction to benefit East Shore Industries, an Algoma non-profit that provides opportunities for people with disabilities.

"I went for therapy in 2001 and I saw these people at the Curative workshop in Green Bay, that's when I decided I was going to do something for them," says Dellis

Until that day comes, Dellis will simply enjoy his collection and the stories he shares about each and every tractor with anyone who stops by to see them.

 
"I don't know the price of these tractors, but I can tell you where every one is parked in the shed, I can tell you where they all came from. This one here came 100 miles from Detroit, a little town of Olivet, Michigan. This is the last tractor my wife and I bought together in Waterloo, Iowa, she died about 6 months later," says Dellis

When asked what is is about tractors he loves, Dellis' response, "Well I guess it's the farm boy in my life."


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