The Older The Better

By Staff

Box 95,Wheatland, ND 58079

(This is a Blue ribbon 4-H speech given by Kevin Kingsley a few
years ago when he was 13 or 14 years old.)

Over the last 10 to 15 years, there has been a growing interest
in anything old. This antique craze has covered just about every
phase of development in the last 100 years. Some of the more
popular are: antique furniture, antique cars, and in this part of
the country, antique tractors. The people who collect old tractors
are quite a lot. They range in age from 10 or 12 years old up to
their eighties. This disease, called tractor collecting, could
probably be called terminal. It seems that once you get it,
there’s no way you are going to get rid of it.

Normal people who will not do anything out of the ordinary, have
been known to drive several thousand miles for just one old or
unusual tractor, the more unusual, the better. I know this for a
fact because my dad has this disease and so does one of my uncles,
who has driven as far as Wisconsin and Wyoming to get a tractor. I
think that looking for and finding these old tractors is almost as
much fun as owning them. Some people will buy several tractors of
the same model with the idea of selling or trading some of them.
But one of the signs of ‘tractoritis’ is that once one of
these collectors has a tractor in his possession, he will not part
with it. I think tractor collecting has caused more than one fight
between Ma and Pa. It also has probably figured in a bankruptcy or
two. We’ve talked a little bit about the disease of tractor
collecting. Now let’s talk about a typical tractor collector.
There are several things they have in common. (1) They are usually
so full of bull you don’t know when truth ends and fiction
starts. (2) In most cases they will either have a chew in the side
of their mouth or a big fat cigar in their mouth. (3) If you are a
true tractor collector, you must wear overalls, the dirtier the
better. This also goes for your cap. (4) For a collector, what you
drive is very important. There are actually two classes of people
here. One is the man with the new pickup or truck with the fancy
trailer. The other drives a tired looking old pickup with a small
trailer on behind that he has to load with a hand winch. It’s a
proven fact that the one who drives the old pickup gets more
bargains, and is a lot more interesting to talk to. (5) Most
tractor collectors are 100% honest; although in some cases, you
will get an individual that will try to beat you any way he can.
(6) The typical tractor collector will usually only collect one or
two kinds of tractors and try to collect as many models of that
kind as he can. My uncle collects John Deere and IH. My dad is
partial to Hart Parr and Olivers. These are just a few things
tractor collectors have in common. Where you find tractors is also
interesting.

My dad has been looking for 2 cylinder Hart Parrs for years. He
bought an 18-36 from a fellow who was going to restore it, but
never got past taking it apart. It was sitting back in the corner
of a warehouse with all the motor parts in a box. My dad, having
the disease, could not let a bargain go by. It’s now sitting in
the corner of our shop with the engine in a box. So much for that
bargain.

Another 2 cylinder that he has is a 12-24 Hart Parr which his
brother-in-law had found. When he went to look at it, the tractor
was in a lean-to of a garage with so much junk piled over it that
you could hardly tell what kind it was. With a little tractor talk,
Dad was able to make a deal for the tractor.

An interesting tractor Dad has is an Oliver 60 Standard, which
is quite rare. He found this one sitting in a bunch of weeds with
two other tractors. He ended up buying four tractors to get the one
he wanted. So, when you go to look at a tractor, you never know how
many or what kind you will come home with.

In closing, I hope this talk on tractor collecting and the
people who collect them will give you some insight on the subject.
So you see when it comes to collecting antiques tractors it is the
older the better.

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