Yearlong Caterpillar exhibit features 1st tractor off line

PEORIA, Ill. (AP) — An exhibit of antique machinery on display at the Caterpillar Visitors Center includes the very first Cat to roll off the line.

The fully functional tractor carries the serial number "EXP 0000-L." The Peoria Journal Star reports that the marking indicates the first vehicle off the California production line in 1925. It followed the merger of Caterpillar's predecessors.

It and other pieces at the museum in Peoria are on loan from Matt Veerkamp. His family has a collection of 125 tractors and other machinery begun as part of a construction business.

Karl Weiss is Caterpillar Inc. vice president for earthmoving equipment. He says the pieces in the yearlong exhibit are the foundation of Caterpillar's growth into a global giant.

Weiss asserts "Our brand was built with machines like this."

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