Parked on the front lawn of Dan Mustoe’s Burbank home are three large antique tractors, which the collector said is a rare piece of history he enjoys sharing with his neighbors.
The tractors were never intended to be on his lawn permanently, but they were so popular among neighbors and passersby that, for the last year or so, he has left them on display.
“It brings smiles and doesn’t cost any money — everything’s got a price tag on it these days,” Mustoe said.
Over the holidays, he hung Christmas lights over them, and day to day, kids walking home from school hopped on to snap photographs.
“Ninety percent of the kids at Jordan Junior High School have pictures of my tractors on their cellphones,” he said with a laugh.
Mustoe drives the tractors up and down his street about once a month and hopes eventually to drive them in Burbank on Parade.
Two of them are green John Deere tractors from the 1930s that his father passed down to him, and the third is an orange Allis-Chalmers model made in 1939 that his sister found on sale about six years ago in Sacramento.
The collectibles have a special significance for his family.
Mustoe’s grandfather was a dairy farmer in Turlock until his farm closed in the 1960s. As kids, both he and his father would help out on the farm, which is where the two generations of Mustoes picked up an affinity for antique farming equipment.
Every year, Mustoe and his family haul the tractors to Tulare for an annual antique tractor show.
“It’s kind of a family reunion up there every year,” he said. “It’s a big party going.”
The antiques spark childhood memories for passersby, many who tell him that their parents or grandparents had similar tractors years ago.
“It’s a lost art,” he said, adding that vintage tractors like his are very rare. “If we can make a few more people smile, just go, ‘Wow,’ it’s worth it.”