Nissels share a passion for green

Staff photo by Clay Schuldt Carol and Marv Nissel have been collecting John Deere tractors for the past four decades. The couple found much of their collection during their travels with their band, “The Marv Nissel Band.”

NEW ULM — Some people collect stamps other collect baseball cards, but Marv and Carol Nissel have set their sights on something bigger.

For over four decades the couple has collected John Deere tractors. They started collecting 45 years ago, and now they have entire sheds full of the green machines.

Marv and Carol grew up on farms and always enjoyed the older John Deere tractors. They caught the collecting bug while traveling with their band.

The Nissels had a polka band called the “The Marv Nissel Band” and traveled the Midwest. Carol said that while traveling they saw a few John Deere tractors for sale and that is how the collection started. The cover of one of their albums included them standing behind a John Deere Lindeman Crawler.

The couple specifically collect the antique tractors. Many of their tractors are 60 years or older, but they look as fresh as when they first came off the line. Marv said he works to restore all of the tractor’s to their former glory.

Marv and Carol Nissel like John Deere tractors so much they featured one of their collection, a John Deere Lindeman Crawler, on the cover of one of the albums for the Marv Nissel Band.

Their collection includes the John Deere 30 series, which consists of a 330, 430, 435, 530, 630, 730 and 830. They all have fenders, three points and wide fronts.

The 330 Standard is a rare addition to the collecton because only 844 of these tractors were made in the tail end of the 1950s. The 430 Utility in the collection is also rare because the Nissel’s own the third one made. The 30s series of John Deere tractors were the last of the two-cylinder series produced. By 1959, John Dere introduced a new line with six-cylinder diesel motors.

The collection includes five John Deere Crawlers, which consist of a Linderman Crawler, MC Crawler, 40 Crawler, all of which are rare. The 420 Crawler has an industrical 90 John Deere loader with a reaper behind.

The Nissels own a rare 1935 AW John Deere with ant-eater wide front on steel. Only 303 of these ever made. The 1936 AO (Orchard John Deere) is one of only 844 made. Their 1931 General Purpose (GP) John Deere was bought at auction in Hanska.

The collection includes five tractors from the “H” series. All come from different years with the fenders still attached.

Staff photo by Clay Schuldt A gleaming row of tractors shows Marv Nissel’s attention to detail on the restoration of the tractors in the collection.

Some of the other John Deere Tractors are unstyled models, like the “G” John Deere, “BD,” 40 with wide front, D on steel wheels, 420 with wide front, a “B” with factory rounds, an “AB,” a type “M” and a few others.

The Nissels mostly collect antique tractors, but they do have a beautiful 1931 Model A Ford with a rumble seat. Carol said their daughters and grand children always enjoy riding in the rumble seat when they come to visit.

“Over the years we have had over 100 John Deere tractors,” Carol said “but decided to only keep the rarest ones in the collection.”

At this time Carol and Marv are content with their collection. They have acquired the model of tractors they like, but admitted they always keep their eyes open for a new machine.

Staff photo by Clay Schuldt One of the John Deere 30 series of tractors in the Nissel collection.


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