Andy Coulter: An Addict Who Can’t Kick the Habit

By Staff
article image

The Dallas County News, Adel, Iowa, reprinted by permission

Andy Coulter is an addict, but the habit he can’t break is
not dangerous to his health. He is simply hooked on buying antique
tractors.

At age 17, Coulter is not your average ‘old sage’
antique enthusiast. The Panora-Linden High School senior says he
rarely meets people his age that are as fanatical as he is about
collecting old tractors, but that does not bother him the least
bit.

When asked how many old tractors he has collected, Coulter
replies ‘not as many as I would like to have.’

COUNTY NEWS

In actuality, Coulter, son of James and Glesna Coulter of rural
Linden, has seven tractors. He has all kinds, ranging from a 1935
International Harvester F-12 with lug wheels to a 1948 John Deere
A. The F-12 was the first tractor he bought in 1980 to drive in the
Linden Centennial parade.

Buying that first tractor ‘was a big mistake,’ according
to Coulter’s mother. ‘You’d think he was a millionaire,
the way he goes off and buys all these old tractors,’ she
joked.

His parents have put a restriction on his buying more tractors,
but ‘they said that when I got the first one,’ he said with
a smile.

Getting parts for old tractors is no problem, according to
Coulter, who sometimes has to do mechanical work on the tractors to
make them run. Some parts can be bought new, while others can be
obtained at swap meets such as the one held every Memorial Day
weekend at Hawkeye Antique Acres in rural Waukee.

Coulter also paints the old machines and applies decals to make
his collection as authentic looking as possible. He buys some of
the decalsat swap meets and orders others from a Minnesota firm
that produces them.

The word has spread that Coulter collects antique tractors and
name recognition has helped him obtain hard-to-find parts.
Collectors some of them complete strangers contact him to see if he
has certain parts to sell or is interested in buying other
parts.

In addition to the swap meets, Coulter looks for parades to
‘show off’ his collection. He has driven tractors in
parades in various area town parades. He said ‘the
highlight’ of his year is the July parade at the Hawkeye
Antique Acres because in addition to showing his tractors, he gets
to talk to other collectors.

The 17-year old is already looking forward to retirement because
by then, he’ll have enough time then to work on tractor
collecting full time, he said. ‘I’ll do this instead of
going fishing. Maybe by then I’ll have a heated shop.’

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