A Man And His 12-20 Case

By Staff
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Side view of Case 12-20 Crossmount.
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1935 Case Model ''C'', restored by Butch in 1975, now owned by his son Brian.
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The Klein Collection, left to right: 1935 Case Model C, 1927 Case 12-20 Crossmount, 1929 McCormick-Deering 22-36.

550 East North Street, Georgetown, Ohio 45121,Photos by Jay
Hanselman

Well, folks, our little story starts about nine or ten years
ago, when my father, Ron ‘Butch’ Klein, was bitten by the
‘ol’ iron bug.’ Now at this time, Dad had already owned
a 1935 Case Model ‘C’, which was given to me as a Christmas
present in 1986. However, Dad had his eye on an even greater
treasure, a 1927 Case 12-20 Crossmount tractor. This tractor was
owned by the late Betty Dunn, who also knew the value of the
tractor, and wasn’t willing to sell it. For about nine years,
Dad tried to buy the Case, but couldn’t make the successful
connection.

Approximately five months after Mrs. Dunn’s passing in late
1986, Dad and Betty’s husband David, who is also an avid
collector, were talking about the tractor, and with that, Dad’s
dream came true. A price was negotiated, and the purchase was
made.

At the time of purchase, I had just turned sixteen, and like my
Dad, I am an avid collector of Case equipment and other old iron. I
had always seen pictures of Crossmounts, but until the day I went
to see Dad’s prize, I had never seen one ‘in the
flesh’. Believe me, when I saw this tractor for the first time,
I knew he had found a gold mine.

The engine on the tractor was already overhauled, but was locked
up from setting idle in a garage for about three years. The oil and
water pumps needed to be repacked, and the carburetor needed a
little work, but the rest of the tractor was sound. It had a good
coat of primer on most of it, but the fenders and rear wheels
needed to be sandblasted.

On the way home from seeing the tractor for the first time I was
asked to do all painting and cosmetic work on it. I immediately
accepted this challenge, knowing that I could work on it over my
summer vacation.

Later that week, Dad and my uncle Mark Watson moved the tractor
to Mr. Dunn’s other house where there was room to work on it.
This meant a five-mile, round-trip bicycle ride to and from
David’s place, carrying needed items such as paint brushes,
sanding pads, and paint. David agreed to watch over me and help me
with the painting. He also made the connection to have sandblasting
done, and also gave information on how the tractor should look and
sound.

It was about a week before the annual Fourth of July Parade held
in Sardinia, Ohio when we got to hear the tractor run for the first
time, and of course, we had a few problems. One of these problems
concerned the fuel tank because there was a very large amount of
rust settled in the bottom of the tank. This rust was hard to get
out because of a tube inside of the tank. This tube ran from the
fill hole to about a half-inch from the bottom of the tank and we
believe it was used as an anti-splash device. So, at 11:00 p.m. on
July 3, in preparation for the big parade the next day, we
‘engineered’ a way to raise the intake to the sediment bowl
using a small pipe. This pipe was higher in the tank than the layer
of rust, allowing only the gas to enter the bowl. Some of the other
problems consisted of leaking oil and water pumps caused by the
need for new packing. We are also using a homemade manifold. Other
than that the tractor ran, and still does run like a champ.

We have shown the Crossmount at the before mentioned Fourth of
July Parade in Sardinia, Ohio and at the Ohio Valley Antique
Machinery Show here in Georgetown where Dad is a director and I am
a Co-worker.

At last year’s show the 12-20 was found to be quite an
attraction as we exhibited it driving by itself in a perfect
circle. We found that, because the steering is so stiff, the driver
can turn the steering wheel all the way to one side, release the
clutch, and walk away, leaving tractor to run by itself in a
perfect circle. We have had many people come over during the show
to see the ‘driverless tractor.’

It was decided at that show that the Crossmount would be
featured at the eighteenth annual Ohio Valley Antique Machinery
Show to be held August 12-14, 1988. To us this is quite an honor,
and this is the reason for this story, written as a surprise to
Dad. I’d like to congratulate Dad for the restoration of a fine
piece of machinery, and to thank him for putting up with me all
these years. Dad, thanks for bring me into this interesting hobby,
and I wish you many more years of having the ‘ol’ iron
bug.’

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