Vintage tractors, farmobilia on the docket at Davenport

1938 Minneapolis-Moline UDLX could work in orchards, then be driven into town | Mecum Auctions Gone Farmin' photos
1938 Minneapolis-Moline UDLX could work in orchards, then be driven into town | Mecum Auctions Gone Farmin’ photos

More than 400 vintage tractors and 300 signs and farm relics will be offered for bidding when Mecum Auctions’ Gone Farmin’ division opens its 2017 sales calendar with its Spring Classic, scheduled for March 30-April 1 at the Mississippi Valley Fair Center in Davenport, Iowa.

Four tractors are being touted as the stars of the sale:

1970 Allis-Chalmers 220 among featured machines
1970 Allis-Chalmers 220 among featured machines
  • A restored 1970 Allis-Chalmers 220 with front-wheel assist (a form of all-wheel drive).
  • A 1968 International 1256, also with front-wheel assist and from the Steve Sickafoose collection, also restored and with only 20 hours of use — including a Shriners parade — since its rebuild.
  • A 1938 John Deere BWH-40, one of only 12 produced and now having undergone restoration.
  • A 1938 Minneapolis-Moline UDLX, one of the first Comfortractors with an enclosed cab so it could be used in the field or for trips to town; on the road, the UDLX could reach speeds as fast as 45 miles per hour. The UDLX also was an orchard-style tractor with fenders.

In addition to four International tractors from the Sickafoose collection, vehicles from a dozen other collections are on the docket, including nine tractors from the Chik-fil-A Corporation: Truett Cathy collection; four steel-wheeled, 1920s and ‘30s John Deeres from the Richard Nelson collection, 11 tractors from the George Ashbacher collection; half a dozen International and Farmall units from the King Collection; and five from the Don Russell Carlisle Iowa Museum collection.

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Rare painted John Deere sign
Rare, painted John Deere sign among signs and relics up for bidding

The sign and relic offerings include a single-sided smalt (glass-infused)-paint John Deere sign, which Mecum’s Gone Farmin’ group says is the only one ever offered at one of its sales.

A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.