DOVES Antique Machines

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Rt. 1,Box 149-B Mathias, West Virginia 26812

My article and pictures of several of our restored tractors is
much later than I intended, but so are most things I undertake.

For quite some time, I have wanted to share with you fine
machine enthusiasts some of our tractor restoration pictures.

My son Andy, and I began collecting a few tractors and other old
farm machines about a half dozen years ago. Since that time we have
been fortunate enough to acquire and restore several nice tractors
of special interest to us for sentimental reasons. The tractors
which we use in our farm operation are growing older, too. Enjoying
our restoration projects, we realize how the fine vintages of life
become more meaningful and enrich our lives in a worthwhile way. We
see how drastically lifestyles have changed and the importance of
preserving the present as well as the past. It is so sad indeed, to
think of all the precious items, tools, and machines we have failed
to preserve for future generations.

The first tractor we, or I, sought as a collectible was a John
Deere L. After quite a bit of checking locally and otherwise (to my
knowledge there were no L’s in our local area), we were able to
find one which was almost completely restored. It did not require a
lot of further work, though we had to wrestle with a bad oil pump
and restore the side mount mower.

I should say early on, that an extra with our machines has been
the fine people we have met, and learned to know and appreciate in
our quest to preserve old farm machinery. The L came from a fine
family near Harrisonburg, Virginia. It was amazing to learn that
they had restored an excellent. Case crossmount, which I had seen
hundreds of times near my home before the ‘tractor bug’
hit. It’s entirely true that each tractor or machine has a nice
story and lots of tales, and thus the history of the machines and
mowers live on. Also, we like machines with original equipment, and
we use them, at least a little bit, in our farm operations. It is
also a good excuse to the rest of the family for adding to our
collection.

I do not remember exactly the order in which we acquired our
various pieces, but sometime after the L, Andy wanted an MC, which
we were lucky to get. They are like the L, being rather (or very)
scarce, at least in our area.

With our regular farm work and other equipment repairs and
maintenance, it’s not real easy to find time to work on the
‘toys.’

After some time-about a year or two, and our time rate
hasn’t improved much-we pretty well finished the MC restoration
in 1987. Following that, we were very fortunate to get our lifelong
neighbor’s Shaw Du-All walk-behind, two wheeled, 5 HP tractor.
Hopefully, restoring this tractor helps enhance and preserve all
those fine qualities which old country storekeepers and small
farmers had. The diligent neighbor farmed quite a few acres with
the Shaw, in the way of making hay and cultivating crops.

My father also was such a person, storekeeper, miller, and
farmer, and we have restored a number of his tractors, and still
have most of them in the family. Two of our most recent
‘family’ restorations are my wife’s father’s John
Deere M, which he purchased new, and my dad’s Oliver Cletrac
O-C-3 with which he had replaced an Oliver model HG back in the mid
1950’s. We have lots of attachments for those tractors:
loaders, cultivators, mowers, etc.

The last tractor to be restored in our collection is our
Allis-Chalmers G. It was one of those which I just had to have to
make the collection complete. Again, we were lucky to be able to
get one close to home, thanks to a neighbor’s information and
the fine family who owned it. Maybe, the superb looking model G on
the cover of the October 1990 GEM caused me to get this article
together sooner than otherwise.

We have taken most of our tractors to the closer shows:
Weyer’s Cave, Bridgewater, Berryville, and Luray,
Virginia’s Heritage Days. Needless to say, we want to
participate in these shows again, and more in the future.

At this time we have finished, or about finished (do you ever
really finish?) restoring several other units, most significant of
which is a John Deere model BO Lindeman, which belongs to a friend.
He took it to Somerset, Virginia this summer and we have just
finished reworking the left steering clutch-it runs fine.

And the good news is that we have lots more to work on just as
soon as…

We have a nice Cork, Ireland Fordson as was featured on the June
1990 GEM issue. Ours needs restoring and should be a fine looking
tractor. Also, we have a 10-20 McCormick-Deering which runs fine,
and a nice Case model RI to be restored. Just recently, we got two
Schramms, like pictured on the 1990 Show Directory. The one of ours
which runs fine has a factory Schramm loader, and both tractor and
loader work well.

In addition to our larger tractors, we have a number of garden
tractors, walk behinds, and other farm machines waiting patiently
to be restored, and serve to remind us of those good ol’
days.

We’d love to hear from and meet others interested in our
farm heritage. Till then, we’ll turn our attention back to
D.A.M. (Dove’s Antique Machines).

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