Between the Bookends

If you're looking to fill out your bookshelf, check out these books for collectors of vintage equipment.

| February 2016

  • Barn Find Road Trip: 3 Guys, 14 Days and 1,000 Lost Collector Cars Discovered by Tom Cotter
    Cover courtesy Motorbooks
  • The Tractor Factor: The World’s Rarest Classic Farm Tractors by Robert N. Pripps
    Cover courtesy Voyageur Press
  • Still Turning: A History of Aermotor Windmills by Christopher C. Gillis
    Cover courtesy Texas A&M University Press

If your idea of fun is snooping in old barns looking for treasures, then you will probably think Tom Cotter is living the dream. Author of Barn Find Road Trip, Cotter spent two weeks tooling around the countryside looking for lost collector cars.

The book describes the adventures of the author, a self-described “auto archaeologist,” car collector pal Brian Barr and photographer Michael Alan Ross during a 14-day ramble through the Southeast. Unburdened by anything resembling an agenda, the trio traveled back roads and asked for leads at every stop. Their choice of transportation – Cotter’s 1939 Ford Woody – proved a useful conversation starter.

Cotter loads you up and takes you along to every stop, discovering more than 1,000 collector cars in the process. He recounts conversations with collectors, shares the incredible stories behind the relics and captures a rich slice of Americana. And he includes useful tips and pointers on how you can stage a similar adventure of your own: Big fun!

Barn Find Road Trip: 3 Guys, 14 Days and 1,000 Lost Collector Cars Discovered, by Tom Cotter with photography by Michael Allen Ross, 2015, Motorbooks; hardcover, 192 pages, color photography throughout.

Robert Pripps’ new book, The Tractor Factor: The World’s Rarest Classic Farm Tractors, is one big, glorious buffet line of rare tractors. And Pripps backs up that claim, providing solid information on what makes each unique.

Like beauty, rarity is sometimes in the eye of the beholder. Pripps builds a case for each tractor in comprehensive yet concise text. Categorizing his contenders by age, fame, distinctive horsepower, low production numbers and collector desirability, the author provides ample context (although there is at least some room for debate over those included in the “Cream of the Crop” section, those Pripps deems most desirable).


Farm Collector April 16Farm Collector is a monthly magazine focusing on antique tractors and all kinds of antique farm equipment. If it's old and from the farm, we're interested in it!

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