By Gabriel Monte: Freedom New Mexico
County efforts to clean up the entrances to the Clovis have compelled Curry County farmer Wayne Martin to part with his collection of tractors.
Martin, 64, has displayed his collection of antique tractors on his property about a mile from city limits on U.S. 70 for nearly 40 years. The number of tractors has increased over the years.
“Everybody else has always appreciated them,” he said. “It’s kind of a collection of historical things. There’s a lot of items there that you won’t ever see again.”
Martin also owns an antique store on Prince Street in Clovis.
Martin is selling his tractors Saturday at an auction organized by Bill Johnston Auctioneers.
Cleaning up the entrances to Clovis has been one of the targets of proposed nuisance ordinances by county officials in the last year. However, no ordinance has been passed to date.
County residents have had mixed reactions to proposals. Proponents said the ordinance would improve the image of the city, while detractors said it violates private property rights.
Martin said negative comments about his display have compelled him to sell his collection.
“They said those tractors were an eyesore,” he said, citing a letter to the editor in the CNJ.
Auction owner Mike Archibeque said Martin’s collection includes rare tractors that have drawn interest to the company’s Web site.
“Some of them will restore them, some of them will just add them to their collection, and some of them buy them to use parts off of them,” he said.
Martin said he started buying tractors in the 1960s, but declined to put a price on the collection.