Dedicated to Deutz

Family heritage is at the heart of Wisconsin Man's German-built tractor collection.

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by Fred Hendricks
Dale imported this 45hp 1957 Deutz Model F3L514 tractor from Canada. It was restored in the Landwehr Repair Shop in Stratford, Wis.

Deutz tractors have been a family tradition in the Landwehr family for decades – so it’s only natural that Dale Landwehr’s collection would grow from that established connection. “Being a dedicated farmer, my dad became a self-made mechanic,” Dale says. “As a sideline to farming, Dad repaired lawn tractors and mowers. His mechanical service grew into repairing neighbor’s tractors and farm machinery.”

Dale’s dad especially enjoyed working on a neighbor’s Deutz tractor. Needing a replacement tractor, the neighbor encouraged Dale’s dad to become a Deutz dealer. “That was an easy sale, as our family’s heritage is German and Deutz tractors were manufactured in Germany,” Dale says. “And Dad had learned about the Deutz tractor during his military service in Germany.” The dealership soon became a reality and the first load of new Deutz tractors arrived in the fall of 1976.

As a teenager, Dale worked alongside his dad in the shop, tinkering on various pieces of equipment. “After you’ve worked on equipment, you become addicted,” he says. That led to collecting scale model Deutz tractors and, eventually, to antique tractors.

Collection includes Deutz-Fahr line

While travelling in Germany, Dale added to his collection. “Deutz-Fahr holds an open house in conjunction with the annual Agritechnica farm equipment show in Hanover, Germany,” he says. “As a dealer, I’ve attended on two occasions. Early releases of Deutz-Fahr scale models were made available at the show. Naturally, I took advantage and bought several models during those events.”

Dale and his sister have assumed ownership of what is now a Deutz-Fahr dealership located in Stratford, Wisconsin. The Landwehr Repair Shop handles Deutz-Fahr tractors, implements, parts and service. They also offer short-line equipment.

Operating a salvage yard led to an interest in restoring and collecting vintage Deutz tractors. Dale’s extensive collection includes several models imported from Germany that were not sold in the U.S. Through his vast experience with this line of equipment, Dale has become a Deutz-Fahr aficionado.

Display spans everything from scale models to tractors

Dale began collecting scale models after the family launched the Deutz dealership. “I’ve always been drawn to collect unusual things,” he says.” While the other green equipment is common around us, Deutz has demonstrated its excellence. And so, I prefer that shade of green tractors.”

Along with collecting scale models, Dale started gathering up the corresponding tractors. As the collection grew, he put up a building to house the display of Deutz tractors and related pieces. The Landwehr Museum is beautifully stocked with vintage tractors, pedal tractors, scale model replicas and countless pieces of memorabilia. Eight restored tractors, including a few Olivers, are on display; another 12 tractors await restoration.

“When a new tractor is ready for release through our dealership, we often stage an open house,” Dale says. “With the museum complete and fully stocked, it will be an additional draw when we hold an open house.”

Tractor display highlights

green vintage tractor, restored

Museum displays include a restored 1977 Deutz Model D 3006 with special meaning. The 06 Series tractor was popular when the family’s dealership was launched. Later, a Model D 3006 was purchased for the Landwehr farm, where it saw many years of dependable use.

green vintage tractor, restored

Two of Dale’s favorites are the 1949 Deutz Model F1M414 and the 1952 Deutz Model F1L514; neither was sold new in the U.S. A 1964 Lamborghini Model 2R, manufactured in Italy but purchased at a U.S. auction, is another cherished piece. A 1966 Deutz Model D 5505 was acquired in a private sale.

blue vintage tractor with yellow accent, restored

The 1979 Deutz-Fahr Model Intrac 2004 is particularly unique. The tractor had features ahead of its time. Implements could be attached on the front, the rear, or both at the same time. Very few units were sold in the U.S., limiting the model’s market life.

green vintage tractor, restored

Old iron brings generations together

Dale’s granddaughters have become infatuated with grandpa’s tractor business and collection. When Oliva Draeger was 5 years old, she was gifted a snap-together Deutz tractor made by Revell. Grandpa Landwehr promised assistance in assembling the kit when she got older.

Dale Landweher sitting in a green tractor with his grandchildren

Three years later, Olivia reminded grandpa of his promise. Together, they arranged the 96 parts to the 1/24 scale model and started assembling. After nearly three hours, they had created a beautiful Deutz Model D30 tractor replica.

When the tractors were staged for photos to accompany this story, the three granddaughters were present. Each made sure her favorite tractor was included. They helped clean the tractors and were eager to learn how to position the tractors for the best camera angle. When the photo shoot was completed, each of the older girls drove their favorite tractor off the staging area.

Dale is pleased to have his granddaughters tag along whenever possible. His relationship with these charming young girls is enviable. FC


The Otto Influence

Company founder Nicolaus August Otto launches legacy of
innovation

The history of this iconic German tractor traces to Nicolaus August Otto, who founded the Motorenfabrik N.S. Otto & Cie. In 1864, the company became Klockner-Humboldt-Deutz AG (KHD).

Deutz-Fahr logo

Shortly thereafter, Otto and Eugene Langen invented the first 4-stroke spark-combustion engine. These early engines were utilized as horse-drawn generators designed to power threshers and stationary hay balers. The firm’s first mass-produced tractor was the Deutz Model MTH 222. By 1936, the company unveiled the Deutz 11 Series. This innovative tractor created affordable mechanization for small farms.

During World War II, the Deutz company converted water-cooled engines into air-cooled models, increasing dependability for use in military equipment. The air-cooled engine remained the company’s hallmark until the 1990s.

By the end of World War II, three-quarters of the company’s Cologne, Germany, production facilities had been destroyed. In 1945, massive efforts were launched for reconstruction. Within five years, production had returned to pre-war levels with a workforce of 13,000.

As a leading agriculture equipment manufacturer, Klockner-Humboldt-Deutz (KHD) acquired Fahr in 1968, resulting in creation of Deutz-Fahr. Under a new name, the company continued to excel in quality and innovation. This resulted in a long, specialized history in the manufacture of harvesting machinery. In 1952, the company produced their first self-propelled combine harvester.

Deutz-Fahr was known for innovation, including the first “clear view” tractor, panoramic cabs, and the farm tractor’s first suspended front axle. In 2001, Deutz-Fahr introduced the continuously variable transmission, considered a technological game-changer.

– Courtesy www.Deutz-Fahr.com


For more information or to arrange a tour, call Dale Landwehr at (715) 387-3537 or email deutzman11@yahoo.com.

Freelance writer Fred Hendricks of Mansfield, Ohio, covers a vast array of subjects relating to agriculture. Email Fred at fwhendricks@gmail.com.

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