| September/October 1993

  • Rare Friday tractor
    The rare Friday tractor, betore Jim painted it red.
  • Gambles Farmcrest Tractor
    Jim Bolliger's 1949 Gambles Farmcrest 30.

  • Rare Friday tractor
  • Gambles Farmcrest Tractor

R.R.#1,Box 69 Minonk, Illinois 61760

Here is an interesting story told to me by a fellow exhibitor at the Central States Thresher men's Reunion in Pontiac, Illinois. Jim Bolliger of Chillicothe, Illinois, is a collector and restorer of antique tractors who plans to be at Pontiac, September 2-6, for to exhibit his Farm crest and Friday tractors.

'It seems that sometimes I do not get things done, so I'm writing to you right away. If I wrote all the things that have happened the last couple of years in my searching for a tractor and hunting for parts, working them into one book, it would be too big to carry!

'To start, I will tell you a story that's actually very hard to believe. After I had finished restoring the Farmcrest about two months ago, I was slowly going through my book, the one by Charles Wendel called The Encyclopedia of American Farm Tractors. I came to the picture of the very different Friday orchard tractor. Even though it was a dark and not very plain picture, I decided I wanted one. The next day I wrote a letter to a friend and auctioneer who hunts old tractors and has big sales at times at Aledo, Illinois. I told him Fridays were made in Michigan and asked him to find one for me. The very next day a friend and I were in the local town here and I said, 'Let's stop at a restaurant,' but he didn't want to. I said, 'OK, but I must buy groceries.'

'As we neared a fast food place my friend said he would buy there, so in we went. Sitting there smoking was a good neighbor of mine who was big on truck farming. He asked if I had ever heard of a Friday tractor and said that he had just seen one near the factory in Michigan and it was for sale. He wanted to go back to Michigan to buy planters, so we agreed to go in my car the next day. Suddenly he said he could not ride with me, as I had a 'No Smoking' sign in my car. I was angry, so I just walked out.

'Next, in the grocery store, I decided to go back to the restaurant. He was still there drinking coffee. I told him I wanted the Friday tractor and would stop often on the trip at gas stations so he could smoke.


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