Keith Clark Retirement Auction

Keith Clark will sell off collection of rare, quality Caterpillar tractors

| June 2000

For a Caterpillar collector, the best way to mark Cat’s 75th anniversary this year may just be to take in the Keith Clark auction on June 24 at Spokane, Wash.

Clark plans to offer what he modestly describes as a “fairly complete collection.”

The trademark of Clark’s collection is quality restoration. When he started collecting 15 years ago, Clark started out with John Deere.

“The people who restore Deeres aim for museum quality, what they call ‘expo quality,’” he says. “I take restoration as seriously as the Deere people do.”

Clark’s collection has been photographed and featured in several magazines and publications. The 1997 Caterpillar company calendar featured photos of tractors from Clark’s collection on six of the twelve months. And several of Clark’s tractors are prominently featured in the Caterpillar company’s 75th anniversary commemorative book being published this year.

Tractors in the sale were produced as early as 1914, and up to 1950. Though most are Cats, the listing of more than 200 tractors to be sold also includes Holt, International, Case, Deere and Cletrac. Among the highlights: A Cat 15 High Crop (“They only made a few of them,” Clark says, “possibly just 85, and of those 85, only five or six have been found.”), a PT 4 Cat 10 (the fourth of that model ever made), a Caterpillar Diesel 35 Orchard (“So far as we know, it’s the only one ever found”), and a very rare gas 50 and gas 40. And all, he says, are in perfect condition.

The auction will also give collectors a rare opportunity to see complete Caterpillar “families.”

“We have the most complete Cat orchard collection you’ll find,” he says. “It’s just lacking one or two. And we have families in the ‘10’ line: The narrow gauge, wide gauge, high crop and orchard; and in the ‘15’ line: the narrow gauge, wide gauge, high crop, little 15 and orchard. This is the only place in the world you can see a family of 15s.”