Jerry’s Farmall 1206: Saving the best for last…

Mar. 02, 2022 • Interesting Iron

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Jerry’s Farmall 1206.

I should rephrase that. It was Jerry’s favorite Farmall 1206.

After Jerry & Joyce Mez closed the doors to Farmall Land USA back in late September 2020, Ken & Mike Girard sold nearly everything from the museum in a series of six auctions. The last one wrapped up just before planting time last year. (Note the use of the word “nearly” in the previous sentence…)

They didn’t sell it all.

Late in the fall of 2020, on one of my trips out there after it was closed, Jerry told me with a twinkle in his eye, “Joyce let me keep a few things.” Well, Jerry’s definition of the phrase “a few” must be different than mine (and I suspect different than Joyce’s, too). Jerry held back a few tractors that were particularly sentimental; among them, these Farmall 1206s as well as the family’s pulling tractors, a couple of hot rods, and an oddball or two. In the end, I believe there were 14 tractors that he didn’t sell. Some of his grandsons inherited a few Scouts as well.

Joyce also let him keep a LOT of his toys. Most of the ones he kept were the ones from his office – the pulling tractors. If you were ever fortunate enough to spend some time with Jerry at the museum, he absolutely loved to invite people to take a peek into his office, and see the pulling tractors. We both absolutely loved tractor pulling, and he and I always had some really fun chats in his office looking at those models.

About six months ago, Jerry passed away, though, and Joyce decided that it was time for the “few things” to provide joy to other collectors. This past Monday night, the final two catalogs went live for bidding.

This post is going to be very photo-heavy, but I have a feeling a lot of you will really enjoy these. There’s a LOT of collection-worthy eye candy here. If you’ve been waiting to get your hands on a piece of Farmall Land, it’s now or never.

Let’s get into it!


Auction Details:

With so many items left to sell, Ken & Mike Girard thought it best to split the catalog into two online-only sales.

Day 1: The final auction for the Jerry Mez Estate – owner of Farmall-Land-USA of Avoca, Iowa! Day 1 includes 250+ belt buckles, plus hundreds of manuals, books, and pieces of memorabilia! Bidding is open as we speak, and lots begin closing on Monday, March 14, 2022 at 6PM Central.

Day 2: The final auction for the Jerry Mez Estate – owner of Farmall-Land-USA of Avoca, Iowa! Day 2 includes the tractors, Jerry’s 2006 Ford F-150, 200+ pulling tractor toys/models, custom toys, signs & more! Bidding is open as we speak, and lots begin closing on Tuesday, March 15, 2022 at 6PM Central.

Without further ado, let’s get to the fun stuff!

The Tractors!

To cover ’em all would take ages, so let’s hit two high points.

“The” Farmall 1206

Jerry's Farmall 1206
Hit the link to see the listing!

If Jerry had a prized possession, this Farmall 1206 was it. In and of itself, it wasn’t really anything crazy-rare. It was just a 1966 Farmall 1206, one of about 4100 built that year. However, it was one that his dad sold new at Avoca Implement (Max Mez founded the dealership in 1943). It went to a local farmer who used it up until 1988, when he sold it to Jerry. Since then, it’s been treated pretty well. First a restoration, and then a bit of a build. The motor is a bit rowdier than your average 1206 now. New pump, bigger injectors, the works. It’ll take a snort of ether to get it fired, but Jerry figured it was good for about 300 horse on the pulling track!

(A note on the use of ether: This motor was built this way on purpose. Lower compression means the turbo can cram more air into the motor and you can pour more fuel at it to make more power without blowing head gaskets and ventilating blocks. In a farm tractor, the ether bunny is a bad thing; in this case, it’s not.)

farmall 1206 custom paint
Jerry loved his pinstripes. As I understand it, a fella known only as Pudge, pinstriped many of his tractors.

The 1206 still has the PTO and the 3-point, but I’d imagine it’d probably be a little overkill for mowing the pasture. It’d look right at home at a tractor show or at the local farm stock pull, though! Go buy it and hurt some feelings…that’s what Jerry liked to do with it! It’s a strong runner!

farmall 1206 serial tag
Here’s the serial number, in case anybody’s looking for it.

The listing for Jerry’s Farmall 1206

What’ll it bring? 

That’s a good question.

Under normal circumstances, I’d say that a nice 1206 would probably bring $30-35K. However, with inflation doing what it’s doing right now, everything is selling higher than normal – and that has trickled into the collector’s market as well. Adding the “Farmall Land Factor” into it, and I’d imagine it might go for somewhere in the low/mid $40K range. The one thing that could potentially hinder the sale price is that is has been modified. Collectors will typically pay more for bone stock than modified. Still, I’m sticking with a mid-40s estimate. The auction closes on March 15, 2022, so we’ll have to wait for a couple weeks to see if I end up in the right zip code or not.

Farmall 1206 and a 1/3 scale replica
Jerry loved the big 1206 so much that he decided to build a miniature!

The Mini Farmall 1206

Jerry's mini Farmall 1206

All in all, I think I remember seeing at least four Farmall 1206s at Farmall Land, plus this 1/3-scale version. This little guy started life as a Cub Cadet, believe it or not. It took over a year to design and build, according to Jerry. Now it’s got a 16-horse single cylinder with a turbo bolted to it. I have no idea what kind of horsepower the combo would make, but it’s pretty cool for sure!

Jerry was all about the details on this build, too. Once it was built, he wanted to use it as something of a canvas to celebrate his family, and garden tractor pulling. So he reached out to a guy named Don Nummi. To many of you, that won’t mean much, but I’ll bet you’ve seen his work. Don Nummi – or “Vilio”, as he always signed his work, was a master of the airbrush. He painted sideshields for some of the most famous pulling tractors in the country. He painted Red Line Fever, at least one version of the Silver Bullet, the original Hurricane Allis as well as Hurricane Allis Category 2, and at least one of Stan & Steve Blagrave’s tractors (plus a lot more)! Jerry had Vilio paint murals on the fenders as well as the hood!

Here’s what he did on Jerry’s mini 1206.

mini farmall 1206 mural by vilio
Right fender.
mini farmall 1206 mural by vilio
mini farmall 1206 mural by vilio
The front corner.
mini farmall 1206 mural by vilio
Vilio’s talent with an airbrush was undeniable!

Like I said, this is a neat little tractor. Actually, if I’m being honest, I’d say it’s almost more a piece of functional art than anything else.

What’ll it bring?

Again, I have no idea. It’s hard to put a price on artwork, y’know? I know the bidding is already over $1400, so I’d say it’s off to a good start. It’ll be interesting to see what it sells for!

Other notable tractors on the sale

There are a handful of cool tractors on the sale aside from the Farmall 1206 pair, with photos below. Hit individual photos to see more details on each of these!

IMG 4546 1 1
This hot-rod Farmall M sports a 345 V8 out of a truck. The starter is a little noisy, from what I’m told, but once she’s fired, she barks pretty nice! Hit the photo to see the listing and a bunch more photos!
IMG 3156 1 1
Jerry had this little Cub Cadet restored and customized for the Cub Cadet’s 50th birthday back in 2014. It hasn’t run in a while, but man, it’s a good lookin’ thing! Hit the photo for the listing!
3588 2+2 Cub Cadet
This is probably one of the most unique Cub Cadets you’ll ever see. It runs and drives great as a FWD tractor; it’ll need a little work to make it 4WD. Hit the photo to see more!
Cub Cadet pulling tractors
Here’s a few of the Mez family’s garden tractor pullers. Believe it or not, these things once ran on a pretty stiff mix of nitro and methanol! (The motor in the Alien is brand new, and has never been fired. Hit the photo for more info on this one.)
Farmall 826
This was one of Jerry’s tractor ride/parade tractors. It’s in the Guiness Book of World Records, too! Hit the photo for the details and some non-artsy fartsy photos; this one will make a nice piece for a collection!

Additionally, there are five more tractors on the sale; most of them are customized or restored Cub Cadets.

But for you die cast and pulling toy collectors, we’re just getting started!

The Toys!

Jerry had a MASSIVE toy collection. Most of it was kept on display at the museum, but I believe there was a good deal of it that stayed home, too. I know that during the initial run of auctions, many toy collectors were really looking forward to an opportunity to purchase some of Jerry’s pulling tractor models; folks, now’s your chance! Here’s some of what’s on the sale.

farmall land pulling tractors
On the bottom shelf, you’ll see some very cool stuff: The Banter Brothers hauler, Elmer Haug’s Little Temptation, plus a few of those old Micro Machines pullers we all destroyed when we were kids!
Img 2374 Orig
That yellow 2+2 is very custom! Below it, a few 1/8 scale tractors. On the bottom, Bill Leischner’s Dirtslinger mod, and Tim Cain’s Red Gambler prostock!
Img 2373 Orig
There’s an early version of Rob Russell’s Work Horse (when it was a super stock, I think?). On the second shelf, Tom Dickerson’s 20 Mule Team and Jason Hootman’s Commander, plus a lot more!
Img 2372 Orig
Notable: Bill Voreis’ American Thunder 5-engine mod up near the top, plus Steve Burge’s Lock ‘N Load diesel superstock. Also a couple of Minneapolis Molines (one with a green heartbeat) and an Oliver with a nasty 3208 CAT in it!
Img 2371 Orig
Lots of cool Allis & AGCO goodness here (including both versions of the Silver Bullet), and Bill Miller’s Cruisin’ Mule prostock on the bottom!
Img 2370 Orig
More AGCO goodness, Cody Shay’s Red Edge Pro, and some turbine-powered mods! (Gardner Stone’s General Stage IV and the Dirt Challenger)
Img 2369 Orig
All Star’s Row in one photo. Everything from the Martin Bros 5-engine mod to Red Line Fever to Art Arfons and the Holman Brothers!

Is your head spinning yet? This is literally only half of what’s selling, if I had to guess! Here’s the link to browse it all; tractors, toys, pullers, plus a ton of cool memorabilia. Some of these items will probably sell for more than the actual full-sized tractors on the sale!

Side note: Here’s one that’s pretty special to me.

Screamin' Demon
Jerry Van Dorpe’s Screamin’ Demon II is one of three tractors that hooked me on tractor pulling when I was a little kid. This is a later version of the tractor, built by one of my best friends – Justin Stuckenschneider. You won’t find a higher-quality pulling model than one of Justin’s. (I own the earlier version of this one – no roll cage, different side shields, and Jerry’s name on the fender.) Click the photo to see the listing and more detail on this tractor.

Harvester Memorabilia: Belt Buckles, Manuals, and lots more!

Over the years, Jerry amassed a jaw-dropping amount of Harvester memorabilia. Some of it sold in the previous auctions, but now we’re seeing some of his personal favorites and the primo stuff. Dealership awards, belt buckles, manuals, clocks, beer steins, books, pocketknives, and lots of stuff that doesn’t even really have a category! If I tried to cover it all, this article would literally take you a day and a half to sift through, so I’ll stick with some of the more collectible items – belt buckles and owner’s manuals.

Belt Buckles

In addition to the tractors and toys, Jerry had a huge collection of belt buckles – mainly Harvester and NTPA-related. Some were sold in the earlier auctions, but there are still over 200 of ’em up for grabs right now. I don’t know much about collector belt buckles and such, but I do know that some of the ones that sold earlier went for BIG money. I’ll be shocked if some of these don’t go just as high!

Farmall Land Buckles
Jerry had a great big belt buckle collection, too. Hit the photo to see them all!

Jerry’s belt buckle collection – Farmall Land auction Day 1

Owner’s Manuals

There have got to be at least a couple hundred different owners manuals on the sale, too. Here’s just a few of the many that are on selling on Monday, March 14.

Farmall Land Manuals
If you ever wanted to complete a collection with an owner’s manual for a specific tractor, I’ll bet you’ll find it in here somewhere. Hit the photo to see over 300 owner’s manuals on the sale!

Jerry’s Owner’s Manual collection – Farmall Land auction Day 1

Final thoughts…

The legacy that Jerry has left us is rich in farming tradition. He lived life with passion, and it was evident to anybody who spent more than about thirty seconds with him. There was magic in that museum, I’m tellin’ you, and it all came from the passion that he and Joyce had for IH, and the people who grow the food we eat! While it’s been six months since he passed away, his legacy lives on in the memories of the thousands of visitors that experienced what Jerry & Joyce Mez built. However, for those of us who want a physical piece of the magic, this is the last chance to get it. Whether it’s a book, a tractor, a lawn chair, or a belt buckle…there’s a little bit of Jerry Mez in every bit of it!

Farmall Land quilt
Live a life with passion, and your legacy will live forever in the people you meet.

Day 1: The final auction for the Jerry Mez Estate – owner of Farmall-Land-USA of Avoca, Iowa! Day 1 includes 250+ belt buckles, plus hundreds of manuals, books, and pieces of memorabilia! Bidding is open as we speak, and lots begin closing on Monday, March 14, 2022 at 6PM Central.

Day 2: The final auction for the Jerry Mez Estate – owner of Farmall-Land-USA of Avoca, Iowa! Day 2 includes the tractors, Jerry’s 2006 Ford F-150, 200+ pulling tractor toys/models, custom toys, signs & more! Bidding is open as we speak, and lots begin closing on Tuesday, March 15, 2022 at 6PM Central.

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