Note: This feature is in the February TF 2018 issue
After he returned home from the 2016 National Farm Toy Show, Scott Galliart from Pella, Iowa, decided to build a display that illustrated a series of full-size tractors called the Barn Series Steigers.
"I always wanted to build a display, but I was not sure what direction to take," he said. But after talking to a friend at the show, who mentioned that 2017 would mark the 40th anniversary of the National Farm Toy Show, Scott decided the time was right to fashion a display in the 1/64 scale he prefers. The direction? Since 2017 was the 60th anniversary of the Steiger tractor, that seemed a natural focus - especially since Scott had been collecting information and photos of Steiger tractors for nearly eight years.
Not just any Steiger tractors - specifically, the Barn Series Steigers, the ones that kicked off the brand and were built in a dairy barn by brothers Douglass and Maurice Steiger and their father, John Steiger, on their farm near Red Lake Falls, Minn. They wanted a reliable four-wheel-drive tractor, so decided to make their own. That first one was completed in the winter of 1957-1958. Then they built another smaller model, although still a four-wheel-drive. A couple neighbors asked if they would build tractors for them and the brothers obliged. More orders arrived, the brothers doubled the size of their workshop, hired a salesman and a brand was born in chartreuse.
The Steiger brothers "didn't realize they would go into the tractor business," said Scott, adding that up until then, they had only repaired tractors for themselves and others.
Some years ago, Scott saw photos of Steiger tractors and "thought those were really neat," he said. "As a kid, my uncle lived next to a farm with bright green Steiger tractors. I like the simplicity of the lines on them even then."