The VAI Case

| November/December 2000

11326 Scott Road, Arbor Vitae, Wisconsin 54568

You want me to go look at a what?' I asked my father.

The year was 1954. We lived just outside of Lincoln, Nebraska, and I was a junior in high school. We had been looking for a tractor to mow and to pull wagons and do other odd jobs around the farm.

'The Ford dealer has a VAI Case tractor with a mower on it they will sell cheap. I want you to go take a look at it and see if you think it is any good.'

I picked up my girlfriend, who was looking forward to going for a ride that afternoon, and we went for a ride-to the Ford dealership. There it was, complete with a Case-Detroit # 14 mower and new paint. It seemed to run good and the mower worked, so my father made the deal and we became the proud owners of the only VAI Case tractor for miles around.

We used the VAI for all kinds of things around the farm, but soon found out the tractor was a lot better than the mower. It had been purchased as a tractor-mower by the U.S. Government in 1944 and was used by the Air Force to mow around airfields. The mower had no end of problems and by fall was nearly unusable.