Minneapolis-Moline-Avery Tractors Look and Run Like New

Minnesota collector brings pair of unique Minneapolis-Moline-Avery BF tractors back from the brink.

| November 2013

When Wayne Gunsolus went to an auction in 1999, he was looking for a car. But he came home with a tractor: a 1951 Minneapolis-Moline-Avery BFW (wide-front) tractor. Built in Louisville, Ky., during a four-year stretch when Minneapolis-Moline owned the Avery line, the BFW stands out from the crowd in Minnesota.

“I actually went to the auction of a Minneapolis-Moline dealer near here to buy a car,” Wayne recalls. “I helped him load 14 wagon loads of parts for four days before the auction. At the sale, I did not buy the car and I didn’t know about the tractor until then.”

The tractor had been sold new in 1951 by Hoffman Implement, the local Pemberton, Minn., dealer, and the owner used it for cultivating and to pull a baler for commercial baling. “He blew a rod, so it sat in his shed for 20 years until he finally traded it back in to the dealer for an implement,” Wayne says. “The dealer rebuilt the engine completely and used the tractor for mowing and as a yard donkey, doing a little of everything. He even used it to move a heavily loaded boxcar down by the elevator when other tractors failed. He had the right gear ratio, and he knew how to do it.”

Intrigued by a Minnie-Avery

Wayne, who lives in rural Pemberton, decided to get back to tractors and machinery after he “semi-retired.” “I was born and raised on a farm,” he says. “When my father died, my brother took over our place. He was older, so I helped do chores and cultivated with single-row horse equipment, and we all pitched manure.”

Eventually Wayne found work elsewhere and left the farm, returning to help out on the occasional weekend. Meanwhile, his brother farmed with a 1939 Minneapolis-Moline Z, a 1954 MM Standard U and a MM G1000, although he had a few Deere and Ford tractors, too.

At the 1999 auction, Wayne bid against a Moline collector who wanted the Minnie-Avery pretty badly. “He bid pretty hard on it,” Wayne says, “but I ended up with it. I paid something like $1,750 for the tractor, a plow and a cultivator.”