The Moeller Moline Tractor Collection

The Moeller family's loyalty to Minneapolis-Moline tractors has resulted in a varied collection of common and rare tractors.

| May 2007

  • Minneapolis-MolineUTI.jpg
    This 1948 Minneapolis-Moline UTI is one of Michael Moeller’s bargains, bought for just $50 in 2004. Better yet, it only required minor repairs on the radiator, magneto and head. It remains in use on the Moeller farm. (Photos by Michael Moeller except where noted.)
    Michael Moeller
  • Minneapolis-Molinetractors.jpg
    An artful brochure shows Minneapolis-Moline tractors at work in the field.
    Michael Moeller
  • YellowMolines.jpg
    This 1954 UB Diesel was in pieces when the Moeller family got it in 1999. Engine work was finished two years later, and in September 2001, it was started for the first time in 10 years.
    Michael Moeller
  • Minneapolis-MolineG1000_1.jpg
    Only 89 1968 Minneapolis-Moline G1000 Rice Special tractors had front-wheel assist, and this tractor is one of them. It is Michael’s favorite.
    Michael Moeller
  • Minneapolis-MolineG1000.jpg
    This 1967 Minneapolis-Moline G1000 Vista LP was one of Michael’s finds in 2004. Fewer than 600 of the propane versions of this model were made.
    Michael Moeller
  • YellowMolines2.jpg
    This Minneapolis-Moline brochure traces the company’s history with LP gas tractors as far back as 1941.
    Michael Moeller
  • Minneapolis-MolineGBtractor.jpg
    This 1958 Minneapolis-Moline GB tractor was bought by Michael in 2000, restored a year later by Brandon Moeller and then modified for tractor pulling.
    Michael Moeller
  • YellowMolines1.jpg
    The tractor that started it all for the Moeller family of Rosebud, Texas: a 1950 Minneapolis-Moline ZA purchased new by Michael’s grandfather, Manard Moeller Sr. Note the single front wheel.
    Michael Moeller
  • TractorToy.jpg
    This well-used toy, given to Michael when he was 3, whetted his interest in Minneapolis-Moline tractors.
    Michael Carpenter
  • YellowMolines3.jpg
    This 1966 Jet Star 3 Industrial is rare: Just 191 were made in 1966 and 1967. Michael hopes to restore it soon.
    Michael Moeller
  • MichaelandTractor.jpg
    Michael and a 1960 Minneapolis-Moline M5 Diesel.
    Michael Carpenter
  • M670SuperDieselTractor.jpg
    The Moellers bought this 1968 M670 Super Diesel in 1994 and used it on the farm until 2000. Today it’s used to turn a grain auger.
    Michael Moeller

  • Minneapolis-MolineUTI.jpg
  • Minneapolis-Molinetractors.jpg
  • YellowMolines.jpg
  • Minneapolis-MolineG1000_1.jpg
  • Minneapolis-MolineG1000.jpg
  • YellowMolines2.jpg
  • Minneapolis-MolineGBtractor.jpg
  • YellowMolines1.jpg
  • TractorToy.jpg
  • YellowMolines3.jpg
  • MichaelandTractor.jpg
  • M670SuperDieselTractor.jpg

The story of Michael Moeller's collection of Minneapolis-Moline tractors is the story of how an entire family got hooked on one brand. "A Minneapolis-Moline dealership, Bernsen Farm Equipment, was located 5 miles from Rosebud, Texas, where my grandfather, Manard Moeller Sr., lived," the 33-year-old CPA says. "There was another dealer about 15 miles away."

Manard liked Moline tractors because they were heavily built, quality tractors that had a lot of torque and quite a bit of power. In 1950, he bought a Minneapolis-Moline ZA, a tractor with a single front wheel. "Ever since he bought that Moline," Michael says, "my dad and brothers and the whole family have been partial to those Moline tractors, both big and small." Michael and his family have about 30 big Molines in their collection, including some rare models.

"That ZA originally came as a gas tractor, but grandpa converted it to propane," Michael says. "Over the next 12 years, three more tractors were bought with factory propane. He never bought a diesel until it was his only option."

Michael says he's heard northern collectors say propane tractors in general are scarce, but that's not the case in Texas. "I'd say anywhere from 60 to 80 percent of the 1950s-era tractors in Texas were propane," he says, "because propane was easy to get with all the refineries down here."



The ZA was used for general farm work, including stripping cotton. In 1972 Michael's grandmother took a picture of the tractor in the cotton fields. "That was when it was actually used on the farm," Michael recalls, "long before anybody ever thought of restoring it." In 1998, Michael's uncle, Lewis Moeller, restored the ZA, repainted it and converted it back to gas.

Raised on Moline

The family got Michael interested in Molines early. "When I was 3 years old, they gave me the only farm toy I had as a kid, a Minneapolis-Moline G1000 Mighty Mini Puller tractor," Michael says. "I still have it, though it's in well-played-with condition." He used the toy extensively in the dirt, pretending to have a plow and other implements.



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