Local man says he has one of the largest John Deere tractor collections in Michiana
The name John Deere is iconic and collectors seek out the green and yellow. A local man says his passion has led to one of the largest collections in the area.
WSBT 22 got a full tour of every tractor in his collection.
For Stan Hynek, traveling around and bringing new John Deere collectibles home has been his life.
Tractors, tractors and more tractors. Hynek has spent the past 30 years collecting.
“When I seen one, I figured I have to get the whole series. I got to get all the Allis Chalmers. All the John Deere’s,” said Hynek.
He says it all started with just two.
“I got the 50 and 70 tractor from my dad and then I just add to it,” said Hynek.
Hynek is one of the few people in the country with the full set that dates back to the 1950's. He has 158 pedal tractors, he can remember the story of each one.
One is his son's.
“It was just a memory of him having it,” said Hynek.
Others are the rarity.
“They only made 125 units of this so this is a very rare one,” said Hynek.
Each one was collected without ever using a keyboard.
“Everything that you see here and even my pedals and a lot of my toys come from individuals I know or they say, ‘Hey Stan, somebody's got this for sale. Go take a look at it,'” said Hynek.
Everywhere you look around Hynek's property is something John Deere. That's why friends say he bleeds green.
“Stan just lights up whenever he talks about his John Deeres,” said Lisa Borkowski, friend.
“Of course every time he’d pick one up he’ll call me. We’d come over and check it out, look it over and next thing you know he has it all cleaned up and redone,” said Larry Lineberry, neighbor.
Each tractor Hynek restores and makes sure they work. His collection even has bits of Michiana history.
“At one time, Wheel Horse tractors were made in South Bend on Ireland Road, so I had to have something that represented this area,” said Hynek.
Hynek says he's not a collector but the preserver of John Deere's history and the hard-working farmers that used them.
“I started as a township trustee in 1978 and at that time there were 37 fulltime farmers here that got their living on farming. Today there’s probably about four left,” said Hynek.
He says he's not down working to preserve the past.
”My goal is to hit 200 pedal tractors before I retire,” said Hynek.
Hynek says for years he has let kids come check out and learn about the tractors. Many of them he says have come back with their own families to enjoy as they did.