I have been working with a pair of remarkable brothers that run a small tractor restoration business just outside of Peoria, IL. They started the business in earnest in 2001 when they began advertising thier business on the internet at www.chatstractors.com . They have tractors stored in several locations and recently began a tractor Museum where they have some of their favorite tractors. The museum is open by appointment only but they hope in a few years to have it open on weekends and holidays. At any given time they have 50 – 60 vintage tractors from the 1950's for sale of no display. They specialize in Farmalls and Allis Chalmers tractors but have several John Deere tractors for sale as well.
Dick is the salesman and mechanic, quick with a story about his fathers farm and his favorite tractors. If you call their business, he is most likely to answer with a friendly "Chats". Dick and his wife Mary Ellen live on the family homestead where the business is located. There have been Chattertons on that property since 1838. Mary Ellen and I have been proding Dick to write a book with stories from the farm, hopefully that will happen soon, They also farm a few acres so they also continue to use the equipment that they restore and sell.
Bob is the older brother and as a retired auctioneer, he is the buyer, always looking for a deal. He has hundreds of stories from his auctioneering days. He lives in nearby Malcomb with his wife Karen and they raise horses as well as the tractor business.
I am their webmaster, far away from the action but keeping pictures uploaded and changing the commentary with the passing seasons. It was my idea to but the business on the web, but living in Liberty, MO, I don't have much da to day contact with the brothers. It is a pretty low key operation but talking with either one of them is like settling back into the 50's. They have an excellent reputation and recently had a couple from Austria drive in completely unannounced and spent an entire week in the area before finally purchasing 3 tractors for shipment back to Austria. When Dick asked them how they heard of him, they said they had been on the web site many times and also had inspected a couple of tractors that they had shipped to a buyer in the Netherlands. These guys represent the midwest work ethic that rual America is known for and just a joy to listen to. They always have a pot of coffee brewing.