Iowa man collects antique riding mowers

An Iowa man has 100 antique lawn mowers.
An Iowa man has 100 antique lawn mowers.
Butch Kupka started mowing lawns as a teenager. He fell in love with the solitude. Now, the Toledo, Iowa resident is the proud owner of about 100 vintage riding mowers.

"I mowed lawns when I was a kid," Kupka, 43, told the Gazette of Cedar Rapids. "I had 13 lawns one summer. I made so much money I didn’t know what to do with it."

Kupka started that summer with his first purchase of a riding mower and has even passed his love on to his 17-year-old son, according to the Gazette.

The owner of a towing company, Kupka has purchased mowers for anywhere form $50 to more than $1,000. Many are quirky machines from the 1950s and '60s that didn't always work so well, including a three-wheeled mower with handle bars for steering.

"It's like the carmakers years ago," Kupka said. "Some had good ideas, but they didn't get it all together."

For most people, lawn mowers are more about function - speed, power, cutting ability. Consumers who want to invest in a riding mower should consider their needs. Not every sized lawn needs a lawn tractor.