Farm Toy Report: February
2003 Issue #10
|One month down and 11 to
go. January was a bitter cold month here in Kentucky.
Hopefully it is not too cold where you are. Spring should be just
around the corner? The early months of the year are always a little slow for new
toy releases. All the big surprises come out for Christmas and then
the farm toy world quiets down. Or does it? The toy manufactures are
busy tooling up 2003 items and the OEM's have their annual meetings where
dealers find out about new products and toys. Once these meetings
are over the OEM's release their toy catalogs. John Deere has released
their book extra early this year and CaseIH's will be out by months end
with all sorts of surprises. Toy shelves should be filling up with
all sorts of new items by mid-march. This month TTS is looking back on the
#1 name in 4wds. Steiger
tractors are one of these best known articulated tractors world
wide. The Farm Toy Report will focus toy Steigers offered in the
1980's and is jam packed with pictures and information. February
seemed like a good month to feature Steiger because it is the time of year
when farmers tinker in their shops in anticipation of the spring
thaw. It was during the winter of 1957 that the Steiger brothers
worked on a tractor in their farm shop that would become one of the best known 4wds in the
articulated tractor market. This issue index's all of the
current Steiger toy offerings in 2003 from Ertl, Scale Models, C&D
Models and Toy Farmer Magazine. All of the Steiger custom
projects on TTS are listed in the custom section. Dan Adamson and
Jim Simpson also look back on Steiger toys as well as a new feature from
Tom Fick on literature. In a future issue we will look at
the CaseIH years of the Steiger brand.
In March the TTS Farm Toy Report will look at the tractors of the 1980's.
If you have articles or ideas for the Farm Toy Report or all new ToyTractorTimes.com
e-mail Jason Hasert at Webmaster@toytractorshow.com.
The #1 Name in Four Wheel
Full Story on 64th Steiger
Adamson is an avid 1/64 collector and has one of the most complete
collections of Ertl 1/64 farm toys in the Nation. You can read more about
Dan at http://www.toytractorshow.com/dan_adamson.htm
hope everyone had nice holidays and received lots of good stuff from
Santa. I canít wait to
break my New Yearís resolution of spending less on toys and more on the
house. It would be a good
idea though to try to wait at least a week before breaking your
With the start of the new year and soon to be introduced The Toy Tractor Times we have decided to give the 1/64
tractor review a new format. Last
year I focused on general information on each model.
This year I will attempt to go into more detail with pictures and a
better explanation of each variation.
This monthís feature
tractor is Steiger. There
have been two models created for the Steiger line.
The Ertl Cougars and the Scale Models Panther.
Next month I will continue with information on the Ford FW-60 variations
1/64 Steiger Industrial and Cougar
introduced the Cougars in the early Ď80ís with two different models.
As can be seen in the above picture the main two variations are the
colors. The green farm model and the yellow industrial model were
both introduced with in a few years of each other.
The variations common to both models are the window color and the
axles. The tint of the
windows comes in two shades. The
clearer windows can be seen through very easily while the dark window
version is much darker and harder to see through.
left side dark and right side clear
axles are not what we would commonly think of when we look at a current
toy. These are actually cast
onto the body of the tractor instead of being a separate rivet or steel
pin. The wheels slide onto
the post and the end gets rolled over.
The models come with what is called a spun axle and a penned axle
variation. In the picture,
the spun axle is on the right with the penned axle being on the left.
Penned axle on the left; Pun axle is on the right
The green models and the yellow models each had their own style of
decaling. They were
consistent with each color, however different between the two models.
The green model has a black sticker that
covers only the hood.
The yellow model has a black
sticker that forms down over the side of the hood with the name
green model has a grill decal with Steiger printed at the bottom. The
yellow model has a short grill decal with out the wording on it.
green model has a Steiger decal on the back of the cab.
The yellow model has a Steiger decal also, but this one wraps
around the cab and has door handles on it.
windows with spun axles.
windows with penned axles.
windows with penned axles.
Models CP-1400: 1998 version left and 1984 1st Edition right
the mid - late Ď80ís Scale Models introduced the Steiger Panther to
the collectors. At
the time this was the latest model in the Steiger line.
The first toys off the line were
cast with a first edition on the side.
As shown in the picture this stamp is on the right side of the
tractor, just below the cab. It
was later removed to make the second variation.
Edition left side; 1st Edition Stamp right side
third variation is a toy show model.
This is the 1989 KCKS Heart of America show.
This is easily recognizable by the red heart attached to the top of
the cab. All three of these
models have black cabs and the top of the hood is painted black.
KCKS Heart of America
This toy was re-released in the late Ď90ís with only a slight change.
It is the same casting without the first edition.
The variants of this model are a green cab and the black paint on
the hood of the old model is now a black sticker on the new model.
The four variations;
edition with black cab.
first edition with black cab.
Heart of America
first edition with green cab.
discussed in the reviews are from my own collection.
Other variations might exist.
I would be very appreciative to hear from you if you have or know
of a different variation. You
can e-mail me at MISTER164@hotmail.com.
CP-1400 Turns Twenty
2003. I am glad to be back and helping out TTS on issue #10. As we
start out the year I am going to look at two tractors turning 20 this
year. First up is the Steiger CP-1400 to go with the Steiger theme of the
Steiger set the new
bench market in 4wd power and operator comfort in 1983 with the Panther
CP-1400. There was no other tractor like the PANTHER 1000 series.
New for 1983 the 1000 series was one of the most advanced 4wds to date. The 400 hp CP-1400
PANTHER with 12-speed full powershift transmission, on-board computer, and
new Safari Cab with improved visibility was what farmers were looking for
in 4wd power market. For those of you wondering just what CP-1400
stands for, it is a code. C=Caterpillar for the engine, P=Powershift for
the transmission, 1 for 1000 series and 400 for the horse power
Steiger built its name up
in the 4wd market by building tractors with big horse power that
could work hard. If repairs were necessary Steigers were easy to
work on because most of their components such as their engines and
transmissions were common on most big tractor trailer trucks. From
1958 to 1982 Steigers were raw iron machines with a big boxy look that had
proven they could perform in big tillage and other hard going
applications. In 1983 Steiger combined its heritage of big power and
basic components while refining the line with new sleek sheet metal, an
advanced cab that set the industry standard for 17 years and many modern convinces
not found on the earlier generations of Steigers. Steigers
literature introducing the Panther 1000 states" Find out just how
productive you can be with a 4wd line rated up to 400 hp. Cat or
Cummins diesel in front, a 12 speed full power shift in the middle,
adjustable drawbar and 3 standard remote hydraulic couplers. With
Panther's adjustable air seat, excellent cab visibility and an electronic
dash display, you'll be in total command of a tractor that can accomplish
a lot of work in a day. At the end of the day, light up your fields
with six halogen sealed beams in front and six in the back, so you can
work as late as you want too. The Panther 1000 gets things done in a
In 1983 there was no other
tractor like the Panther 1000. It was the most advanced 4wd of its time.
The Panther 1000 cab offered 51 square feet glass to give farmers a
sweeping view of the land. Combined with 400 hp of power nothing on
the market was close to the CP-1400 at the top of the Panther 1000 line.
John Deere's 8850, Allis-Chalmers 8550, White's 4-270 and Massey-Ferguson's
4880 were all at least 100 hp behind the CP-1400 and were still big and
boxy with cabs that were much more restrictive. It would not be until the
1990's that all of the major 4wd manufacturers would offer room with a
1983 also marked a big change in
the Steiger toy offerings. Scale Models was chosen to offer the first 1/16
scale offering of the famous line. Prior to the 1000 series Valley
Patterns of Fargo North Dakota had produced 1/12 scale series II and III
Steigers. The Ertl company had produced 1/32 series III Steigers.
The first CP-1400 toy from Scale Models was offered as a collectors model
with 1-1000 JLE medallion looped on the hitch and a shelf model followed
with out the marking. These tractors were sand cast, offered good
detailing for the day and black plastic windows. The tires are also
made from a hard plastic. The Scale Models CP-1400 is a hefty tractor and
are a must to complete any 4wd collection. In 1995 when the Steiger name
was returned by CaseIH after a 6 year absence Scale Models offered a 1/16
CP-1400 again. This time the collectors edition offered triple tires
and an imprint on the roof saying "Heritage, Fargo ND, 1995". The big
change for the collectors model and shelf model were rubber tires and an
open cab with a seat and steering wheel. Below the 1980's CP-1400 and the
1995 CE CP-1400 are pictured for comparison. Next month I will write
about the advancements of the Allis-Chalmers 8000 series tractors and
Scale Models CP-1400 Right: 1995 Scale Models CP1400
Advertising in 1986
Tom Fick is a
farm equipment literature collector and seller. You can contact Tom at firstname.lastname@example.org
for complete lists of his invetory or visit his e-bay
of the new features you will find in the new ToyTractorTimes.com this
spring will be tractor brochure and ad history. Here is a
small sample to help highlight this months Steiger theme.
Below is a
1986 Steiger flyer promoting its 1/12 Scale Farm Toys. This flyer
would have been the last Steiger, Inc. licensed toy announcements. The
flyer announced the release of 4 new models to Steiger dealers in 1986.
Tenneco the Parent Company of J.I. Case would purchase Steiger Inc. in
late 1986. The flyer features toys made by Valley Pattern who was
also based in Fargo, ND. It features Steigers full line of 1000 series
4wds. The ad announces the release of a Limited Edition Panther 1000,
Cougar 1000, Bearcat 1000 and Puma 1000. These toys would have been available
through Steiger dealers for around $125.00 in the spring of 1986. At the
time this was a steep price for a farm toy but today quite a bargain
considering it is hard to purchase a Valley Patterns Steiger for less than
$500 and many sell for $1,000 and up. For toy collectors it is an
interesting flyer to look back at. You can read that Valley Patterns
models weighed 18lbs to 26lbs and that the Puma 1000 toy even had the
unique steer able front axle.
announcement in 1986 was the merger of Steiger and J.I. Case. This ad
appeared in Successful farming and featured a Puma 1000 and new Case
International 9110. The ad states that Steiger customers will be able to
continue to purchase their favorite lime green tractors and that CaseIH
customers have a new line of red articulated 4wds to look forward to in
the 9100 series. As with many mid-80's merger announcement ads and
brochures the statement did not hold quite true. Steiger tractors were
offered through 1989 and the last main line green model was also produced
that year. There is a green 9280 in South Dakota that Jay Hasert and Jim Schroer
are working on locating for photographs. What really happened as far as
brochures following this ad? There were CaseIH 9100 brochures and air brushed 1000
series lit where the tractors were painted red, showed the 9100 series
markings on the cab door rather than the hood decal as on the CaseIH
versions and the Steiger name plate on the grille rather than the CaseIH
logo. The ad will brig $5 today and the Steiger 9100 literature even
though only a folder brochure is rare enough to bring $20. There was a
Steiger 9110, 9130, 9150, 9170 and 9180 brochure. The 9180 is pictured
below along with the merger ad.
more than 30 years the famous Steiger 4wd line has been produced at a
large factory in Fargo, North Dakota. Today the Steiger brand and
factory is owned by the CNH Global better known as Case-New Holland.
Below is a listing of farm toys and models offered under license by CNH to
several farm replica makers for the year 2003. Each replica
has a current or past tie to the Fargo 4wd factory.
|The 1/64 CaseIH STX 450 was
released by Ertl in June 2002 as the replacement for the 1/64 STX
375 released in November 2000. The model biggest change is the red
drivers seat representing the leather heated seat option on the real STX
|The 1/64 STX 450 Quad-Trac
replaced the 1/64 STX 440 Quad-Trac in June 2002. It is CaseIH's latest 4
track tractor and offers the luxury cab option with a red seat. (ERTL)
|Build your own 4wd became a
first for Ertl in 2001. The STX Kit allows model builders to construct
their own STX. Ertl originally released the STX kit as a 440 in 2001 and
updated the kit to an STX 375 in June 2002. (ERTL)
|Ertl has expanded its barn
and farm sets to include a fleet of tractors and equipment. The 75
piece CaseIH Farm Set includes a 1/64 STX Steiger Quad-Trac as part of the
|Ertl's latest STX offering
in 1/16 is the STX 450. This model offers large flotation duals with row
crop spacing. The 1/16 450 was released in June 2002 and replaced the 1/16
STX 375. (ERTL)
|The 1/16 scale STX 450
Quad-Trac is an impressive farm toy. This large farm toy is built
tough just like the real thing. The STX 450 Quad-Trac toy replaced
the STX 375 in June 2002. (ERTL)
|The STX 450 Precision
II is an impressive model offering all the details of a real STX.
This model offers details such as serviceable engine with a swing out
grille and lift able hood. The rear of the tractor has a hitching pin, 3pt
hitch and warning light bar set for triples. The cab has complete
detail and both clear glass doors open. Other features are hand
rails on the tractor including the front weight steps. The STX 450 was
released in February 2002. (ERTL)
|Scale Models brought the kid
out in every collector at the 2001 National Farm Toy Show when they
introduced the Pedal Tractor Version STX 450. This beast offers dual
wheels all around and hours of potential fun for young pedal farmers. (Scale Models)
|No Steiger collection is
complete with out a set of key chains. Steigers are even available
in the micro 1/128 scale as a key chains. Ertl released an STX and a TJ key chain
in April 2002. (Ertl)
|The 1/64 TJ 425 is Scale
Models latest offering in the TJ 4wd line from New Holland. The TJ is the
Blue cousin of the STX offering a few functional variation on the real
units between it and the red STX's. The 1/64 TJ 425 offers row crop
spaced narrow duals and was released in June 2002. (Scale Models)
|The TJ 425 in 1/32 scale was
released in June 2002. It followed the collectors edition TJ 450. Nice
details this 1/32 farm toy offers are warning lights and a serviceable
hood. (Scale Models)
|The 1/16 scale TJ 425 is
Scale Models latest sand cast 4wd in blue. It was released in June 2002)
This large farm toy is much heavier than most toys on the market today and
is an impressive edition to any collection. (Scale models)
|Scale Models TJ 425 Pedal
Tractor followed the TJ 450 Pedal with duals. The TJ 425 pedal was
released in June 2002 and offers single tires and impressive large styling
compared to the traditional 2wd pedal tractor. (Scale Models)
|The 1/16 scale New Holland TV 140
was released by Scale Models in 1998 and was the first bi-directional
offered in 1/16. This toy represents one of the other CNH products
built at the Steiger plant in Fargo, ND. (Scale Models)
|Even though the Steiger 9300
line was replaced in November 2000 by the sleek STX's, Scale Models is
still offering the 9380 Quad-Trac and 9370 tire models to CaseIH
dealers. These two 1/64 4wds were first re-leased in 1998. Scale
|Scale Models 9380 Quad-Trac
is a classic late 1990's Steiger that is still in production for CaseIH
dealers toy shelves. This model offers a tilt up hood and flood
lights. This tractor was first offered in 1998. (Scale Models)
|The 1/16 scale IH 4366
answered red fans wish list in 1996. The IH 4366 was the first articulated
4wd offered by International in 1974. This model represents the 1974
graphics of the 4366 and the real tractor was built in the Steiger plant.
|IH articulated 4wds share
many features with Steigers because they were built in the same factory.
1/64 4wd fans can collect several IH 4wds through C&D Models
1/64 kits. these kits include the 4366, 4568, 4386, 4586 and 4786. Visit www.cdmodels.com to
see the full 66,68 and 86 series line up. These models come as a model kit
and must be assembled and painted by you. (C&D Models)
|Collectors and displayers
can complete the Steigers series I and II lines through C&D Models
1/64 Steiger kits. These models offer good detail with appropriate decals
and flood lights. C&D offers kits to build the Wildcat I,
Super Wildcat I, Bearcat I, Super Bearcat I, Cougar, Tiger I, Super
Wildcat II, Steiger Cougar II and Tiger II. Visit www.cdmodels.com
to see the full offering. These models come as a model kit and must be
assembled and painted by you. (C&D Models)
|In 1998 Toy Farmer
Magazine returned to its Steiger heritage by starting a long series of
1/32 Steigers. TF's most recent Steiger offering was a 1/32 Super
Wildcat II in
April 2002. Look for a CO-OP Steiger in 2003 from TF. There
have been 6 classic Steigers from TF. The Titan , Wildcat I, Super Wildcat
I, Bearcat I,
Allis-Chalmers 440 and Super Wildcat II are still available if you contact
TF at 1-800-826-1537.
|Look for the 2003 CaseIH
Farm Toy and Case Construction Toy Guide for 2003 to arrive at Case
dealers in March. No doubt there will be some nice surprises in 1/16,
Precision and 1/64 scale for 2003. One of the most interesting new
items on the way for 1/64 collectors is the 16 row CaseIH 1200 AFS
Corn planter, which should be available at CaseIH dealers next month. Look
for some new tillage items as well.
out your 1466 Precision...
This has been discussed www.redpowermagazine.com
and TTS Toy Talk, but for those who may not know, the new IH 1/16 1466
Precision medallion has an error on it. It says "International
Harvestor" and not "International Harvester." No word
yet on how many have been produced or if there has been a change.
TTS will include this question in the March Ertl Top 10 Q&A.
|Take this months TTS/Ertl
poll on Precision II John Implements. Many collectors are asking for 1/32
scale Precision implements for the 9420T released in 2002. Take the
poll and vote on the 2700 disc-ripper, 42ft 2200 field cultivator, 32ft
637disk, 60ft 1890 air drill with 1910 commodity cart or DB corn
planter . Click
here to take the poll.
|The 1/16 scale John Deere
5420 with fwa, loader and cab is now available at John Deere
dealers. This tractor marks the first Utility tractor produced by
Ertl under 60 hp that is available with a cab.
|Looking for a way to fill up
the new 1/64 bulk fill corn planters on the market. Moore's Toys will release
a gravity wagon auger to fit their Hurely line of gravity wagons.
The prototype auger and Hurely wagon are picture on the right. Visit www.mooresfarmtoys.com
Top 10 Question And Answer by Bill Walters RC/Ertl Farm Toy Manager
March 2001 Bill Walters the farm toy product manager for Racing
Champions/Ertl has taken an active role on ToyTractorShow.com listening to
collectors interests and answering their questions. Starting with the May
Farm Toy Report Mr. Walters answers the top 10 monthly topics on TTS
Toy Talk. Below are areas of interest brought up by Toy Talk Members here
on ToyTractorShow.com over the past month with answers from Bill Walters.
TTS webmaster Jason Hasert selects the questions.
#1: The number one topic on TTS Toy Talk is 1/64 telehandlers for
John Deere and New Holland. Any chance Ertl might talk to the OEMs
about offering these farm stead machines?
Answer #1: We
will talk to the OEMs and see what they say. Right now this is not high on
our priority list.
1/64 Collectors were excited to learn about the new John Deere 1/64 Sound
Guard set including the 4430, 4440 and 4450. Will these tractors be made
from new tooling?
#2: Yes, this is new tooling.
Hay equipment remains a hot topic among 1/64 collectors. What is Ertl's
out look towards hay and forage equipment such as swathers, forage
harvesters and big balers?
Answer #3: Be
patient, hopefully you will be rewarded with some new product in 2003.
In 2001 Ertl started the Lawn and Garden Precision Line with a John Deere
110 mower. Is this a Precision line that will expand in the years to come?
Answer #4: Yes,
but there is nothing we can report yet. Look for more info later
Will the PRESTIGE line of tractors be dedicated to vintage tractors like
the PRECISION CLASSICS, or can we expect to see MODERN equipment under the
PRESTIGE brand? Also, what is the overall purpose of the PRESTIGE
Answer #5: No,
Prestige for now will stay vintage. We will plan for additional units in
2004. The Prestige line was started to offer detailed units to
collectors, but not to the level of a Precision where every wire and part
is replicated. Precision units are very expensive to tool and
produce. Prestige is our next lower level, where you still have good
detail, but not the same as a Precision. For Prestige, we use more
plastic as well to keep the cost down.
Question #6: Is
there any chance that we could see an IH 1256, IH tri-strip or Red Power
86 series, Case Golden Demo or Case Black Knight pedal tractor within the
years to come.
Answer #6: Scale
Models has produced so many vintage IH and Case pedal tractors that I
would be hesitant to produce one. The pedal tractor market is only
so big and we think there are too many already.
Question #7: Many
collectors have wondered why the new 1/64 John Deere 7520 has 4 fenders
instead of two in the rear. Was this a rare option on the 4wd? Also will
we see future classic 2 piece tractor and equipment sets?
Answer #7: We
photographed 2 separate real tractors which had the fenders. We felt
it was a nice option. I have not checked with John Deere to see if
this is a rare option. Hopefully we can release other tractor and
equipment sets in the future.
Question #8: The
IH 2+2 remains a popular tractor with collectors. In one of our early TTS
Live Chats you mentioned this tractor was not really on Ertl's radar
screen. Collectors on Toy Talk continue to have 2+2's on the top of their
wish lists monthly above any other tractor or make. Is their any chance
this classic IH might make a blip on the radar screen for Precision, 1/16
Answer #8: We
will review this again and see what can be done. We are probably
looking at 2004 before we can release anything.
With the Ertl line of older 1960's through the 1980's 1/16 toy tractors
expanding each year is their a chance we might see classic implements to
go with them?
Answer #9: We
will review as well and see what we can do.
What lines or series of toys does Ertl get the most requests for new
Our biggest request is for Precision tractors and implements,
especially from collectors. Mostly for vintage John Deere and IH
In 1981 The Toy Farmer Magazine
helped bring Steiger toys to farm toy collectors and started a tradition
that would bring many more toy Steigers to collectors shelves. The
Toy Farmer has produced in part with the Ertl Company, the Steiger
Panther III, Cougar III, Industrial, Ford FW-60, Titan, Wild I, Super
Wildcat I, Bearcat I, Super Wildcat II and Allis-Chalmers 440. Toy Farmer has also offered several special Steiger
variations including the popular plastic Steiger set pictured to the right
released in 1983. Thank you Toy Farmer for producing so many great
Steiger 4wds in 1/32 scale. If you would like to learn more about
Toy Farmer's Steigers you will want to purchase the Toy Farmer anniversary
booklet "Looking Back". This wonderful book
highlights 25 years of the Toy Farmer and index's every 1/32 Steiger
offered through the popular magazine.
directly by calling the Toy
toll-free at 1-800-533-8293.
|Jason Jeffer's a
well known scratch toy builder to TTS members has built a 1/64 Steiger Trail-R-Disc.
To learn more about Steiger implements and to see more pictures of Jason's
ToyTractorTimes cover is John Schomburg's Panther IV built from the
Ertl Cougar III for the farm display he is building with some good
friends. John is a Steiger fan and felt the Panther IV would be the
perfect 4wd to pull the big Krause disk he constructed from scratch. For
more pictures click
used a Case International 9260 to create this Steiger Cougar 1000. John
cut the 9260's hood down and cut the rigid frame to add an articulation
joint. To see more pictures of John's work click
built a Puma 1000 back in 2000. He used the Case International
9260 4wd body and by cutting the hood way down, cutting out the plastic
windows, adding cab an interior and cutting the back ridged frame in half
to add an articulation joint he created a 1/64 Puma 1000. Click
here for more pictures.
|Jon Sampson used
a C&D Model's Tiger I kit to build this classic Steiger in 1/64 to
pull a custom 1970's Glenco field cultivator. Click
here for more pictures.
built a 1/64 ST-650 panther Twin from two FW-60 toys. Because the Steiger
Cougar III toy sells for $50 + today Jason choose to use two well used
FW-60's as the donor tractor to create this monster 1/64 toy. To learn
more about the ST-650 click
Timo Kittel has been busy
constructing a 1/32 Steiger ST-650. This was an impressive 650hp
tractor built by Steiger in 1977 to compete with the Versatile Big Roy.
To learn more about the ST-650 click
here. To read the full story on Timo's 1/32 ST-650 from start
to finish click
|Don Campbell of www.doncampbellmodels.com
spent 150 hours in February 2002 building a 1/16 Panther II Steiger
and then painted it to replicate the Spirit of 76' Steiger. To learn more
about the Red, White and Blue Panther II click
If you are a Steiger fan
or would like to learn more about Steigers make sure to visit www.toytractorshow.com/steiger.htm
. Toy Tractor Show.com has an expansive gallery of Steiger toy
information, pictures and history. You can learn about Steigers from
the #1, to the big triple engine, to the ultra modern STX line.
Steiger also built 4wds for Allis-Chalmers, Ford and International
Harvester which you can learn about on the TTS Steiger History section.
|Why is Steiger my favorite
brand? My interest started in 1981 when I was 5 years old. Volkman
Farms located just 3 miles from my house purchased a Steiger ST-220 series
III Bearcat. This tractors was much different than any tractor in the area
at the time. It was a large 4 tire tractor that pulled an 8 bottom
IH plow, 30ft IH field cultivator, 30ft IH disk and big 15 ft Ford chisel
plow. This was the first time I had seen implements that folded up.
Western, NY where I grew up was a large dairy region. In the late 1970's
and early 80's we still had 10 cow dairy farms in the area where the big
tractor might have been a Farmall M. The average sized farm might have 70
cows and rely on an IH 1086, AC 7045, Case 2390 or John Deere 4440 as
their main tractor. There were a few grain farms in the area and a farm in
the next town from us had a John Deere 8630 4wd, which was the big tractor
in the area. That was until Volkman farms purchased a Steiger.
On a recent visit to my neighbors farm
I asked Mike Volkman about the ST-220 Bearcat. Mike told me his
grandfather purchased the tractor because he had heard they were solid
tractor that had plenty of power and were easy to service. Volkman farms
had been running Oliver tractors since 1948 but as they expanded their
operation needed to look at a 4wd tractor for larger implements. Loyal to
the Oliver brand Mike's grandfather tested out a White 4-180 as well as an
International 4386. Then the Volkman's tested a Steiger ST-220.
There just was no comparison and the Volkman's had their first 4wd.
As a young child I would always
ask my parents to take the road that ran by the Volkman's when we went to
town just incase the Steiger might be parked at the farm. It was such an
exciting tractor for the day and so much bigger and louder than any other
tractor the area. Ofcourse as a young farmer at heart I would ask for a
toy Steiger every time we visited the local IH dealer who also sold
Steiger. I remember very well the top toy shelf had several 1/32 Steigers
on it. One day, I came down with chicken pox and my dad bundled me up and
said I am going to take you out to get you a present to help cheer you up.
He took me to Rochester Tractor the local IH dealer where I had seen the
toy Steigers so many times. To my shock they were sold out but the parts
man said he would check to see if their might be one left. He
returned from the back of the store and said they did have one Steiger
left. It was a funny looking Steiger, it was yellow. The
yellow toy was a replica of the new Industrial model. I was just so
thrilled to be taking home a Steiger to help cover the rug and sand box
Just over 22 years latter Volkman Farms
are still farming with the Bearcat ST-220 their grandfather purchased. The
4wd fleet has expanded to included a 1982 ST-310 Panther III and a 1983
PTA-325 Panther. The ST-220 is still running just as strong as it did in
1981. Dan Volkman repainted it a few years ago and added a nickname to its
grille. The ST-220 is now known as "Old Faithful". As for
my prized Industrial Steiger, it is not too worse for wear. It shows it
years of enjoyment from my childhood days but remains my favorite Steiger
toy. Today it has a few more friends on the Steiger shelf. My 1/32 Steiger
collection includes 40 different models and there are still 6 or 7 models
I am looking for. It has been fun collecting Steiger toys over the years
but nothing will match excitement the those early years of seeing the
first real one and taking home my first model.
Learn more about the Volkman's
operation by clicking on the blue logo: Volkman
Farms Churchville, NY.
Farms Bearcat III
Hasert's First Toy Steiger