Julie's Tractor


| November/December 1995



VAC Case or Julie's Tractor

The VAC Case above, known as 'Julie's Tractor,' took four years to restore by Frank D. Holzschu, 4057 Inter town Road, Petoskey, Michigan 49770.

4057 Inter town Road Petoskey, Michigan 49770

This is the story of a Case tractor. The tractor was purchased the same year Julie was born and it was used many years on the Sterly family farm. Julie, our three sons, and I have been members of the Buckley Old Engine Club for a number of years and are charter members of the Walloon Lake Fly-Wheelers Club. I have restored many old relics over the years and have taken them to the shows. This is what led to the restoration of Julie's tractor.

In the late 1940s Julie's parents bought a farm south of Petoskey, Michigan, and started their family. It was a hard beginning, real horse power was used to till the land. They had a few milk cows, pigs and some chickens. In 1952 Julie's father bought a new VAC Case tractor. It was the first of many advances to update the farm into a modern and economic business. From that time on more tractors were bought and a top producing dairy herd was put together. The farm has since been handed down to Julie's brother. He has continued to upgrade the farm.

In the early 1960s Julie learned to drive this tractor. The probable reason for this was that hay wagons needed to be transported to and from the field and barn, during the hay making season. Her older brothers were needed to load and unload the wagons so it became Julie's turn to do the driving. She had to pull back on the steering wheel, slide forward on the seat to push the clutch in far enough to shift gears. It took some practice and it wasn't long before she became an expert wheel person. She has a vivid memory of pulling the big and heavy loads of hay. The front wheels of the Case would lift off the ground as she drove up the grade and used the brake to steer onto the drive leading to the barn. For her older brothers this was an added thrill, but for Julie it was a frightening experience.

Around 1965 there were a number of tractors on the farm. Julie's father bought a new 706 International tractor and traded in the VAC Case. At that time the Case was in fair condition, but had an enormous number of hours on it. Her father also had another VAC Case in better repair, so the original Case was gone.

In 1968 the second VAC Case was broken and the dollars for replacement parts were high. While talking to the implement dealer, Lawrence learned of the whereabouts of his original tractor. He traced the owner and bought it for a parts tractor. It was in sad shape, the block was cracked, and it didn't run. He hauled it home, put it in the shed, and took the parts needed for the other tractor. Obtaining the original tractor was for economic reasons rather than sentimental, but he was happy to have the tractor back.