||In more than one respect, Ertl, long the most celebrated name in diecast toy tractors, is much like Tonka: both were founded shortly after World War II in the basements of enterprising Midwesterners. Although Ertl, also like Tonka, has produced countless toy trucks, this book will focus solely on the Iowa toymaker's true bread and butter: toy tractors produced from 1945 to present. Two hundred color photos depict Ertl's 1/16- and 1/64-scale tractors, up close with theater-gel backgrounds, diecast implements, and the sort of plastic injection-molded farmers and livestock with which Ertl has often packaged its tractors. Accompanying the is the story of how this Dyersville-based company grew by leaps and bounds, including founder Fred Ertls' first licensing of some of these companies' names and actual designs in 1945 , the family-based assembly line he and his wife established in their home, Ertl's renowned commitment to quality, and the incredible detail that goes into today's precision-made scale models.- Most collectible toy tractors available today are produced by Ertl- The truly American story of how an unemployed immigrant foundryman licensed the designs of ag giants I-H and J-D, melted surplus aluminum aircraft pistons in his basement furnace, poured the slag into hand-made sand molds, and put his five sons to work assembling and painting the tractors at the kitchen table- New 1/16 scale Ertl tractors typically sell in the $60 price range; most highly collectible vintage examples in the mid-three-figure range- WalMart is the #1 customer; followed by Farm & Fleet- Ertl, celebrating its 60th Anniversary, is the 900 pound gorilla in this categoryAbout the AuthorPatrick Ertel is the publisher for Antique Power magazine. Catherine Lee Phillips provided the photography for the book. They both live in Yellow Springs, Ohio.