From friends and relatives to Major League Baseball Hall of Famers, those who have visited George Logue Sr.'s antique tractor collection agree the late businessman and mechanical engineer's assemblage of machinery at his family farm in Cascade Township was quite impressive.
Now, that collection, made up of almost 100 pieces of tractors and attachments, is up for sale at a public auction starting at 10 a.m. on April 10 at 719 Logue Hill Road in Trout Run.
Logue, who passed away last October at the age of 85, began collecting machinery in the 1970s when he started his own construction company.
A model of one of the first Caterpillar tractors in his collection - a Caterpillar 10 handed down from his father - was donated to the Smithsonian Institution, said Bob Logue, George's son. The original remains at the farm and is not on the auction list.
Although George worked for International Harvester as manager of the company's field testing unit, he always had an affinity for Caterpillar machines, said his nephew Chris Logue, who is assisting with the auction.
Chris said that after college graduation, George sent letters to both International Harvester and Caterpillar seeking a job.
"Caterpillar offered to interview him. International Harvester offered to give him a job. He took the sure thing," Chris said.
Bob said that many of the tractors and related pieces of equipment in the auction are of museum quality.
"This is one of the most complete collections in the country, if not the world, of Cat tractors and implements," said Chris Logue, a nephew of George's.
Chris, along with Bob and Herman Logue and Spencer Kauffman, a mechanic who worked for George at Logue Industries, have been busy arranging the collection for auction at Logue's Trout Run farm.
"Just moving this stuff and getting it out into the field has taken us several weeks," Bob said.
Chris added that he expects to see a crowd of people at the auction. About 2,500 postcards were sent to members of the Antique Caterpillar Machinery Owners Club.
"It's a pretty wide-reaching club," he said. "You'd be surprised how many people collect antique tractors."
Chris said the late baseball Hall of Fame pitcher Bob Feller was a collector and spent time with George looking over his assortment of tractors.
"There's some really neat pieces in the collection," he said.
Some of those include the oldest Caterpillar D8 tractor known to exist and the 29th diesel tractor that Caterpillar ever made - one of seven in existence, according to Chris.
"It's a real impressive accomplishment for one man to collect that much equipment and have 99 percent of them in restored condition," he said.
Chris said that George was "running equipment right up until the end, almost. He was never happier than on the seat of a tractor."
The sale is being conducted by Vancouver, British Columbia-based Ritchie Brothers Auctioneers, the world's largest industrial auctioneer.
The entire collection can be viewed at www.rbauction.com.