My $20,000 1938 Case RC Tractor

| July/August 1996

3121 Creek Road, Kingsville, Ohio 44048

In mid-September 1994, the Ashtabula County Antique Engine Club, of which I am secretary, agreed to hold a mini-Antique Engine Show at the Debonne Winery at Madison, Ohio, in exchange for a generous gift to the club. On cue, six of us arrived at the winery with our restored tractors and hit and miss engines. Later that day the owner of the winery mentioned that he had an old tractor up in the woods that we could have. There was no discussion at that time, but a few weeks later I had occasion to go by the winery with my wife and we decided to see what the tractor was like. We hunted around the 'woods' but could not see any tractor, so we headed to his dad's place to find him and ask directions. Tony Debevc and his dad, Tony Sr., were outside and they said it was well hidden and they gave us a scythe and lopping shears to get through the multi flora roses to it. In passing they mentioned that the Case had been sitting in that spot for at least 20 years.

We finally found a semi-clearing above where the tractor was supposed to be and started cutting our way in. We finally located it in the middle of the fifty feet of rose bushes. It was in sad shape, but all there, as far as we could tell.

On August 10th, a fellow engine club member, Bob Pifer, and I headed to the winery with my large tractor on the trailer. We unloaded the big tractor, but still couldn't get to the old tractor be cause of the roses. We spotted an employee of the winery driving a large tractor that had been fitted with a front end loader and had huge weights on the rear. We asked him to back through the roses to mash them down so we could pull the Case out, which he did.

We then took the log chains up to the Case and hooked them onto the tractors and started pulling. It moved and started down the hill, but soon the front rubber tires came off the rims, and in another ten feet, the rear steel wheels collapsed. We pulled (slid) it down to the trailer, but then couldn't load it. Tony came by and saw our predicament and went after the tractor with the front end loader. He just picked it up and set it on the trailer. After chaining it down, we headed for home, 40 miles away.

Now the problem was how to get it off. I remembered a neighbor, Stanley Rutkowski, had a back-hoe so I went to see if he would come over and lift it off, which he agreed to do. In fifteen minutes he arrived and chained the Case to the bucket, but couldn't lift it, so we decided to drag it off down the loading ramps. We did, but we now had the Case about thirty-five feet from the barn. I said good enough, and headed back to the winery to get my tractor that we used to pull it out.