August 14, 2014…I won’t forget that day.
We were in little Ostrander, MN filming the Carmen Start farm retirement auction for our Machinery Pete TV show (www.MachineryPete.com/mptv). Carmen was 90 years young. On the sale was an amazing tractor of Carmen’s, his 1975 IHC 1566 with only 450 actual hours. Yep, 450 actual hours. It sold for a record price of $45,000. Here’s Youtube video I posted of it selling that day: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p-rGKdbVCnY&t=203s
The 1566 was purchased by well known Wisconsin farm equipment dealer / collector Chuck Tesch (www.catesch.net). Recently Chuck sold the famous 1566 to a friend, Steve Hansen from Neenah, WI.
“I’m just very lucky to have a good friend (Chuck) to share this piece of history with me,” said Hansen.
Here are a few pics of the famous 1975 IHC 1566 at Hansen’s place…now all the way up to 453 hours:
“I had to remove the duals to get it in my shop, but been buffing and polishing.”
Hansen’s path to becoming a tractor collector is a fascinating and unusual one. He did not grow up on a farm. His parents took him up to Rice Lake, WI in the summer when he was a kid, his father’s cousin’s farm. He was known as Uncle Bucky.
“If I did a good job in school and past each grade then my mom and dad would take me up to Rice Lake to Uncle Bucky’s farm for the summer, did that until I was 16,” said Hansen.
There were a pair of red tractors at Uncle Bucky’s that captivated young Steve Hansen. “The first tractor I drove was a Farmall 460 narrow front when I was 6 years old.”
The other red tractor on Uncle Bucky’s farm that Hansen loved was a Farmall 1256. Years down the road he would buy it and restore it. Here are before and after pics.
“My friends farm 2,200 acres and they let me come out and roll soybeans every year. Average 600-800 acres a year rolling.”
Hansen’s IHC tractor collection has grown over the years. He now owns a unique IHC 1066 front-wheel assist, pictured below loaded up with the 1256 headed to the 2019 Mackinac Bridge Tractor Crossing annual event Labor Day weekend in Michigan. Hansen’s father drove the 1256.
The Farmall A in this last picture was traded in on the 1566. The Farmall 460 in the picture is not the same one Hansen first drove as a 6 year old boy.
“I tried to buy it back, but it was already gone, so this 460 I bought in 2017. It’s a work in progress. Was a basket case, but it’s slowly coming together. But the sound and smell remind me of Uncle Bucky’s farm.”
Amazing the very powerful emotions/memories tractors can evoke, isn’t it?
Sure was fun to connect with Steve Hansen this week and learn about his unique tractor collecting
journey, and also big fun to catch up with that famous 1975 IHC 1566 with only 450 hours sold for $45,000 back on the August 14, 2014 Carmen Start retirement auction in Ostrander, MN. That will always be one of my favorite tractors I’ve ever run across.
What also made me smile…Hansen’s attitude of wanting to honor Carmen Start, the original owner of this amazing tractor. We talked at length about the 8/14/14 auction and about Mr. Start. Hansen said he has already called and talked at length with Ron Gehling of Gehling Auction, the auction company that did the 8/14/14 auction. Hansen has connected with Carmen Start’s daughter and is working to uncover/recover the original sales paperwork on the 1566.
Which brings me around to why this 1975 IHC 1566 with 450 hours was so special in the first place. Yes, super interesting to find a mid 1970’s tractor like that with hardly any hours on it…but even more fun to get to the know the original owner, Carmen Start. He was 90 years old on auction day. Carmen passed away December 16, 2017 at the age of 92. Amazing life he led. Here’s the Machinery Pete Youtube video interview I did with Carmen the week before the sale: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bp2eFkw5UYQ&t=20s