Holiday Gift Ideas for Old Iron Enthusiasts

Just in time for the holidays, gift ideas for the old-iron enthusiasts on your list, including yourself.

| December 2014

They say ‘tis better to give than receive, but that’s a tough call with this season’s selection of books, calendars and toys. Go ahead; take a peek. Whether you’re hunting for something special for folks on your list or dropping hints, you’re bound to find stocking-worthy treats:

A great addition to the old iron category, Robert Pripps’ Classic Farm Tractors: 200 of the Best, Worst, and Most Fascinating Tractors of All Time trains the spotlight on 200 handsomely restored tractors. But don’t expect to find chapters titled “Best” and “Worst.” Pripps is wisely diplomatic. Still, the careful reader will soon learn his opinions. And he more than delivers on the “most fascinating,” including the rarely seen or mentioned Hanomag R40, Renault wood burner, Avery Ro-Trak and Kaywood D, among others.

Classic Farm Tractors is a stout but handy book, complete with an index so you can scout for your favorites. Arranged chronologically from 1900 to 2001, the content is an easy occasional read. Pripps tailored the text based on the conclusion that the book would have two categories of readers. “The experienced person wants to see if I got it right,” he says in the book’s introduction. “The inexperienced person might want to know about power, shifting, starting, steering and speed.” Agreeably, the author gives a bit of interesting background on each tractor as well as essential basic data. Ralph Sanders’ always excellent photography (and some first-rate shots by Andrew Morland) leaves no doubt why each tractor was included in the selection. A handsome and accessible overview of old iron.

Classic Farm Tractors, Robert N. Pripps with color photography by Ralph W. Sanders, soft cover, 304 pages, Voyageur Press, 2014. Available through Farm Collector Books: Call (866) 624-9388 or visit us online: Classic Farm Tractors.

Author and illustrator Billy Steers performs a neat trick in his series of Tractor Mac children’s books, blending solid facts, sweet fiction and charming illustrations into a kid-friendly package depicting life on the farm. All center on the adventures of Tractor Mac – a personable Farmall Cub look-alike. The father of three sons, Steers speaks in a language kids enjoy and weaves lively tales that make good bedtime reading.

Steers’ beautiful color illustrations make an effective counterpart to the story and black-and-white images at the front and back of the book provide details on Tractor Mac’s anatomy. Key parts and components are clearly labeled for the kids who haven’t had first-hand tractor experience – but who’ll be clamoring for it after getting their hands on these books. And check out the Tractor Mac companion toy sets: 1/16-scale diecast metal tractors paired with heavy-duty molded plastic critters, all by Ertl. It’s a “can’t miss” duo for the youngsters on your Christmas list!