Marvelous Miniature Tractors

Miniature replica tractors crafted by hand

| February 1999

Dennis Franz has a small tractor collection: small in every sense of the word. His collection consists of miniature tractors he's built from scratch.

In 1990, Dennis built a 3/8th scale miniature replica of a 1925 John Deere D. Two years later, he built a hand-held remote control to operate the tractor.

He also put a farmer doll in the driver's seat. The doll would roll his eyes, turn his head, and move the clutch and steering wheel.

Dennis, 53, is the owner of Denny's Heating and Cooling in Newton, Kan. He has long exposure to things mechanical.

"I've built stuff all my life," he said. "And I've been around machinery all my life. My dad was quite a mechanic, and he had a construction business and did soil conservation work for the government. He overhauled his own equipment. As a little kid, I saw that and was intrigued by machinery. I thought it would be a good challenge."

To build his miniature replica, Dennis completely disassembled a full-size 1925 John Deere D and then reproduced all the parts on a 3/8th scale.