It began around 30 years ago when a Cat® dealer salesman dropped off a scale model to the folks at Stutsman-Gerbaz as a thank you for a recent purchase. At that time, Dick Stutsman was company president and gave the model to his young grandson, Shay. He had no idea that one model would be the inspiration for a Cat collection that is jaw dropping in its size, scope and detail.
“A lot of people collect for a lot of different reasons,” says Shay. “I obviously have a huge affection for Caterpillar and Cat equipment.”
Shay currently serves as vice president of Stutsman-Gerbaz Earthmoving, a family-owned company started by his grandfather and great-uncle nearly 60 years ago. Shay has spent most of his life and all his career readying himself to one day take the reins and lead business into the future.
Along with running the day-to-day operations of Aspen’s largest excavation business, Shay has amassed a Cat model collection that is now over 300. Showcased in a spare room in his Basalt, Colorado home, most of the replicas are custom made from artisans around the world, and are designed to scale with complete accuracy representing jobsites familiar to the Colorado landscape. There is no detail that goes unnoticed.
“Sure, there’s a degree of crazy to this,” Shay says with a chuckle, “but I love it, and hopefully it will keep getting bigger and bigger.”
Shay is seriously wondering where he is going to move the collection once it outgrows its current space; however, in the meantime, take a look for yourself and see how one little boy’s model tractor inspired a breathtaking display that is second to none.