The first John Deere GP ever made in 1928 will be at auction 10 a.m. Oct. 27 at the Antique Tractor Fall Harvest Auction in Nokomis.
An anonymous benefactor donated the rare tractor, along with another Farmall M., to the Taylorville Christian Church, according to a press release.
The church contacted Aumann Auctioneers, Inc., the tractors were delivered and they sat in storage for several weeks before being inspected by experts, the release said.
Tyson Reed, marketing director at Aumann Auctioneers, Inc., said the proceeds will benefit a building shared by the Taylorville Christian Church and VisionWay Christian school.
After double-checking the serial number, confirming it was authentic and the first-made GP, Aumann contacted the person who donated the tractor to inform him.
Reed said staff members thought the man who donated it may want it back.
He was actually more excited because it was such a neat piece, and it would probably bring more money to the church, Reed said.
The tractor did have a small restoration a in the '80s, he said. When the tractor was delivered, it was not in running condition.
"The crew here got it running and driving," Reed said, so the tractor is running and ready to go.
"Opportunities to get pieces like this don't come along very often, if ever," Reed said.
He said it is kind of amazing how the tractor has been kept and passed along through the years.
"It seems to be, in the antique tractor world, it's hard to put a finger on an exact price because everything's worth what somebody's willing to pay for it," Reed said.
He encourages collectors and antique enthusiasts to come to the auction because it is something people can see and learn about.
Kennedy Nolen can be reached by phone at 217-774-2161 ext. 1 or by email at email@example.com.