AKRON-It might not be a 1967 Nolan Ryan but, who knows, maybe a mint condition 1994 card of a 1929 John Deere G.P. tractor will be worth something someday. After all, the 75,000 sets in the first series of ``Ageless Iron'' antique tractor trading cards, released by Goodyear and Successful Farming magazine in 1992, quickly sold out.
That success prompted the tire maker to release a second series of cards this February, and sales again have been hot, according to Mike Thomann, general manager of agricultural and terra tires, who said half of the 96,000 Series II sets already have been sold.
Goodyear said the cards, available only at Goodyear farm tire outlets, are the most popular promotion it has run in recent years.
``It's been a very successful program for us,'' Mr. Thomann said. ``It's brought new customers in for our dealers, and that's what we want.''
Ageless Iron Series II introduces 36 new tractor photos, including the Advance-Rumely OilPull 20-40 (pictured above).
Information on the back of the cards explains the significance of the tractor and the history of its manufacturer, and gives credit to the collector who owns the photographed machine.
Why are the cards so popular?
``I think it's an interest spawned out of all the collecting that is going on throughout the country,'' Mr. Thomann said, noting the response to Ageless Iron has been greater than expected.
Along with the card sets, Goodyear is offering its dealers posters, signs, newspaper advertisements and a 6-foot-2-inch banner promoting the Ageless Iron series.
And to help bring additional traffic into each store, the company has suggested dealers try holding local events like a ``Traders Open House,'' where collectors can swap cards, or an antique tractor show promoting both the cards and popular tire lines.