John Fredritz’s Favorite Color Is Orange

By Staff
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At one time John bought a John Deere H. His son Jon, a farm machinery mechanic with Findlay Implement, a John Deere dealer in Findlay, Ohio, says, 'He got rid of it as soon as he could.'
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1939 RC restored in 1989. Only 5,500 were made.
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'37 W.C. restored in 1983, shown in the 1989 Marion County pull, heavyweight class. Notice the wheel weights.
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This is the way these two tractors were displayed and driven in the Carey, Ohio Home coming Parade.

3203 Norton Road Radnor, Ohio 43066

If it is a tractor and it isn’t Allis orange, John Fredritz
probably wouldn’t want to own it. As a boy, growing up on a
farm in Wyandot County in Ohio, John worked with Allis-Chalmers
tractors. Now a truck driver with Central Transport, operating out
of Detroit, he still helps out on his mother’s eight hundred
acre grain farm when needed. John still works hard, but his real
interest now is in buying and restoring antique Allis-Chalmers
tractors. Over the past eight years, he has acquired thirteen
tractors. Most of these were for his collection and a few were just
for parts.

Collecting is a way of life for the Fredritz family. All of
John’s brothers collect various kinds of antique tractors and
his mother still owns the 8N Ford she and her husband had when they
started to farm.

Mary, John’s wife, says, ‘It was the wrong
color.’

John likes the Allis orange color so much that he had an orange
Morton pole barn put up to store his collection. Mary flipped
through their album and pointed out a picture of the barn.

Jon shares his father’s interest and his collection. He
participates in tractor pulls using one of their Allis-Chalmers
1937 WC’s. They have not modified the tractor in any way,
except to add weights to the rear wheels and the front end. Jon
loves the sport so much that he is encouraging his fianc?e, Karen
Hucke, to take it up herself. He says she is so tiny and weighs so
little, she could really gain an edge in the event. Jon also owns
two Oliver 70’s and a Montgomery Ward Twin Row.

Mary, John, their daughter Kristi, and Jon go to shows on most
weekends throughout the summer. Two of their favorites are the
shows in Medina and Marion, Ohio.

The Marion show is put on by the Marion County Steam and Gas
Engine Society. John and Mary are members of this group. According
to Mary, they attend a show, and if the people are friendly and
encouraging, they will probably attend that show again, but if they
are not made to feel welcome, they won’t come back. Mary says,
‘The people at Marion are really friendly. We take a display to
that show every year.’

In 1983, John bought his first two tractors for $500. Both were
1937 Allis-Chalmers WC’s, bought from Kenny Baughman. He and
Jon worked to restore one in 1983 and the other a year later. It is
one of these that Jon uses in tractor pulls.

In 1987, John purchased a 1939 RC from a Mr. Klingel from New
Washington, Ohio. The restoration, completed in 1989, cost about
$2,000. ‘There were only 5,500 of this model manufactured,’
John says.

Asked which tractor he would most like to find and refurbish,
John replies, ‘An Allis-Chalmers Industrial B. They are
rare.’

Mary would like to own a UDLX Minneapolis. The picture in the
family’s show scrapbook is of an unusual yellow tractor
complete with a full cab. ‘Yes, it does look like a car,’
Mary says. ‘You could work it in the fields all week and drive
it to church on Sunday. We have only seen two of them. I have
relatives out West watching out for one for me. I guess they
weren’t too practical. With all that sheet metal, they must
have been costly to produce. I guess they were not popular at the
time, so they’re quite rare now.’

The first ‘Gathering of the Orange’ which the family
attended was over Labor Day weekend at the Rock River Thresheree
Association Show in southern Wisconsin. It was billed as
Wisconsin’s ‘Big Show.’

It was there that they met Nan Jones, publisher of the Old Allis
News. Nan acts as the coagulant for all the Allis-Chalmers
collectors who read her publication. Their annual gatherings are
billed as, you guessed it, the ‘Gathering of the Orange.’
Though no formal organization exists, the magazine is the link by
which the collectors are informed of the next meeting place and
time. The Fredritz family appreciated Nan’s friendliness,
too.

Nan works tirelessly, making all the necessary arrangements and
meeting with prospective show organizers across the country.

Through Nan’s efforts on behalf of the Marion County Steam
and Gas Engine Society, the ‘Gathering of the Orange’ will
be held at their show, June 13-16, 1991, over Father’s Day
weekend, on the Marion County Fairgrounds. All Allis-Chalmers and
related machinery are to be featured.

If you would like to communicate with John about his collection
or get show information, write to John H. Fredritz, 10920 S.H. 103,
R. #1, Carey, OH 43316, or phone him at (419) 396-6025.

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