by Larry Steed, Founder
Having been around old farm tractors and heavy equipment for most of my life, and having a tractor business as a side job for close to forty years, I've never been without owning a tractor, at times several of them at once since I turned twenty-two years of age back in 1964. I never realized however that during all those years, how neat it would be to collect and show vintage tractors until one day a neighbor brought home an early '50's JD 50 and started restoring it. Then it wasn't long until another neighbor brought home an early 50's Farmall SM that began my quest in this remarkable endeavor.
Back during my lengthy span of working tractors as a side business, I had always bought Massey-Fergusons and Fords as they were smaller and much easier to maneuver around residential construction sites as well as being much lighter to haul between jobs. Additionally, at the time when the light bulb went off in my head regarding collecting tractors as a hobby, I owned a fairly late model Ford 2600 and knew this simply wouldn't qualify as a vintage tractor, thus I let my mind wonder some and ended up with a John Deere 40 W utility model. After a near two year restoration of that one, I climbed aboard my neighbor's Farmall Super M one afternoon and that's all it took for me to realize that the larger row crop tractors were definitely what I really wanted as far as vintage tractors went. It wasn't all that long before I had acquired a '56 JD model 60 row crop, a '58 JD model 620, followed by a '45 JD model A slant-dash, then another 620, this one being a '57 and finally a '52 JD model G. Many more of other brands have now followed, but there has been some sales and trades along the way
Having thereafter joining a sister EDGETA club in Danbury, Texas, and now with all of the row crops under my belt, along with my neighbors having the others they'd collected (by this time, yet another neighbor had brought home '40 Farmall H to restore), I figured it was time that a club in the immediate area was needed. That was in the spring of '05, at which time I began to gather information on forming such a group, and after making contact with some administrative folks at the Early Day Gas Engine and Tractor Association, I put the plan into motion. Having past memberships myself in many different organizations throughout my years, I wanted to put together an organization that was fairly well laid back and not one that would badger or try to force its members to be always present at events, but at the same time having members who we could count on to support what we were doing. Knowing in advance that I'd have to get a minimum of twenty members in order to be an affiliate of the EDGETA, I started knocking on doors and looking for old tractors sitting around in hopes that I could talk the owners of the old tractors into joining our club, another step in which I found that I was actually very good at. By October of '05, I had the required twenty members and our new group conducted its first meeting in the den of our home. Heading into our seventh year now, never did I imagine how big this little club would grow to be, nor that we'd end up with the numerous number of brands and varying colors of so many vintage farm tractors, implements and small engines, nor did I realize how many fine folks there are among us who appreciate old iron as much as I do. And that my friends, is how BATC became a reality!