Rare Trio of Gibson I Tractors

Rural Kansas man finds three Gibson I tractors that fall in line

| May 2000

  • A set of three Gibson I tractors
    A set of three: From the left: Gibson I serial #609, purchased by brothers Art Wilkens, Stockton, Kan., and Jim Wilkens, Atwood, Kan., from the Eldon Bright estate; Gibson I serial #608, owned by Bill Anderson, Superior, Neb.; and Gibson I serial #607, owned by the Tri-State Antique Engine and Thresher Association, Bird City, Kan.

  • A set of three Gibson I tractors

Numbers have a way of adding up for Jim Wilkens. 

Jim, who lives in rural Kansas, has taken a shine to Gibson I tractors. But he never expected that he'd come in contact with three Gibson I's with sequential serial numbers.

It all started when Jim and his brother, Art, bought a Gibson I at the Eldon Bright sale at Grantville, Kan., last spring.

"The body was fairly straight," he says, "but the steering wheel and exhaust were bent two years earlier when the shed in which it was being stored collapsed under the weight of snow. The motor was also stuck because of the water from the melting snow."

Art Wilkens had earlier bought and restored a Gibson D, and later a Gibson E. The line's roots held appeal for Jim.

"The fact that the Gibsons were made so close to home, at Longmont, Colo., sparked my interest," he says. "Gibson made between 50,000 and 60,000 tractors, which included eight different models. Approximately 500 Gibson H's and approximately 500 Gibson I's were produced."