By Bill Vossler Note: This feature is in the March TT&C 2013 issue.
Tim Montgomery with the rare Smith-Miller trucks.
Buddy L Interstate Highway Set from the 1960s priced at $14.95.
Buddy L early 1920s toys.
Steelcraft and Structo transportation set includes a Sheffield Farms milk tanker and Sheffield Farms dairy delivery truck.
Other stories in the March TT&C 2013 are:• Don and Brett Stephens Built Their Collections “Model by Model” by Larry LeMasters • Stan the Moving Man by Cindy Ladage • Hayes Trucks of CANADA by H.A. Nertz Tranasky
Tim Montgomery grew up with farm toys and toy trucks more or less surrounding him. The 55-year-old from Lone Tree, Iowa, said, “Dad worked for International Harvester, so I always got red farm toys at Christmas through the credit union that offered them.
“I started collecting with a dual interest in farm toys and trucks, but immediately noticed you could buy a lot more trucks for less than you could farm toys. So I just went from there, and at toy shows, trucks would jump out at me and I would buy them.” As a kid Tim also had farm toys and trucks, including Tonka, Buddy L and Structo from the late 1950s and early 1960s. His preference is for the larger trucks, like those in 1/16 scale.
“The bulk of my collection are those in larger toy scale. Those are the trucks that I remember and, as a kid, would see the ones that you wanted up on a shelf when you went to town. There weren’t any 1/64 scale when I was young, except for the Matchbox line, which I also do collect.”
As a high schooler, Tim drove trucks for a fertilizer company and got a lot of experience driving truck “at a tender age,” he said. He worked for a company that ran many sprayers and had to have delivery trucks to go from the facility to the sprayer in the field. He, in fact, works for a fertilizer company today as a sales agronomist.
Like many collectors, Tim’s interest waned after high school and college, until one day in 1982 he visited a farm auction that had toys advertised.
“It was at a really remote place that had some nice toys advertised, and I figured it wouldn’t be any big deal to buy them.” At the auction, he realized it was a big deal. “I actually didn’t buy anything, and afterwards I thought I had to find out more about what this collecting was about.”
After that, he discovered there were older families in older homes, and they were cleaning out their attics or planning on moving, so they just wanted to get rid of stuff.
“In those days before eBay, values were more vague. Also, people knew that I was collecting and buying and called me. “Sometimes it’s worth the effort, and at times it’s not worth the effort at all, but you always go and take a look.”
Want to read the rest of the story? It's available in the March TT&C 2013magazine! Download here: MARCH TT&C 2013