The moment I heard about Sparky Duroe I instantly knew I wanted to feature him on The Rusty Wheel blog! Sparky has a beaming personality and has a love for restoring tractors. Through a few text and phone conversations I learned a lot about him. Sparky was in the banking and farming industry for 30+ years. He was a 4th generation Iowa Banker to be exact. Sparky has a passion for youth especially with the local Boy Scout Troop. The boy scouts keep him active with volunteering and with various activities. Sparky is still active on the farm helping his son-in-law as much as he can. Sparky was also a United States Marine Staff Sargent, served on the Iowa 4-H Foundation, active in the Boy Scouts and Hart Parr Treasurer for 3 years.
Sparky started out collecting Oliver Crawlers and Cletrac Crawlers. At one time he had 60 Cletracs; owning all but 1 model. Sparky’s very first tractor was a 50 John Deere. After having an auction to sell most of his collection of crawlers; Sparky decided to start collecting rare Oliver tractors. His collection consists of Hi Clearance, Orchard, Front Wheel Drive, and Front Wheel Assist tractors.
Sparky went all over the country looking for rare tractors and brought them back to his Iowa farm. Friends helped with many of the restoration projects. Sparky really enjoys working on the tractors more than anything. He has a really nice set of Oliver 16’s. 1600 FWA, 1650 HWFA, 1650 FWA, 1655 FWA, 1600 Hi Crop and 1650 Vegetable Hi Crop. Along with those he has many muscle tractors. Cockshutt 1950T Turbo FWD that was the only Cockshutt FWA built in 1969! He has many orchard tractors in his collection as well. Ranging from Oliver, Massey-Harris, Minneapolis Moline, John Deere, Case and International. He also has a John Deere A Hi Crop that has been fully restored as well.
One tractor that caught my eye looking through his collection was a White 2-70 Red Strip Model. My grandfather had a White tractor and they always catch my eye. The difference I noticed right off the bat with this particular tractor was of course, the Red Stripe. This tractor was purchased by O.J. Tompson, Chairmen of the Board of First Citizens National Bank of Charles City. O.J. called the manager of the White plant in Charles City and requested a 2-70 for parades. White built the tractor off the wheel. A few months later the White manager called O.J. and asked to borrow the tractor. White changed the tractor to a Red Stripe and it was used as the tractor for the new Red Stripe brochures and pictured for advertising. What a neat little piece of history!
Sparky will be having his second auction with Aumann Auctions on Saturday June 10th on his farm in Independence, Iowa. There will be over sixty lots of tractors to be auctioned off. On Friday June 9th there will be a free pork loin supper from 5:30-7:30 and a fun auction to benefit the local Boy Scout Troop at 7:30. Make plans to attend this awesome auction not only for the tractors, but to meet Sparky himself! He is one of a kind and the weekend is sure to be a huge hit.