Had kind of an interesting day Monday and thought I'd share. GTTalk was solely responsible in getting the ball rolling on this "event" so I felt compelled to bore ya'll with the details.
I'm pretty much laid off in the winter time. I can be called in at any time but its a rare occasion. With the State of Misery [Missouri] temps aligning with someplace north of the artic circle, I'm generally confined to the house or shop, cuddled close to a source of heat. Outtings in this season are very rare. Outside work or play must wait for warmer weather so my joints remain fluid. Monday being a holiday, I knew there was zero chance I'd be working so the plan was set in motion. I get paid holidays while I'm laid off in the winter - go figure!
Newer member here "chieffan" recently acquired some 2-wheelers in a package deal where he had to take all or nothing. This left him with more tractors than he needed for his garden chores but still short on some attachments that would come in handy for gardening and other yard work. You can see where this is heading.... We did some trading, and I'm happy to report that the Blackhawk tractor in his recent posts has been adopted by me.
Since we live three hours apart, we met somewhere close to half way, at a convience store for the swap. I have a friend Ronnie that recently retired. He lives 42 miles from me so we don't get to see each other often enough and I had the bright idea to stop and pick him up on the way since my travel was taking me right by his place. I fired an email off to Ronnie and he seemed glad for the opportunity to get some "Kris time", as I put it. We had a good chat while heading to Iowa for the swap. Temps were unseasonably warm that day.
After the exchange we headed south and stopped at an antique mall then on to a very small town's cafe for lunch. The food was excellent! Ronnie lives near an Amish settlement and was telling me of an Amish small engine and mower shop that was restoring a Bantam garden tractor for a customer. He offered to take me by and show me the bantam as he knows the Amish owner very well.
Didn't have to think about that one too long!
What I found was a beautifully restored Bantam 5 horse tractor. The fellow that painted it really went all out and it was a treat just to look at it. There were a few odds and ends yet to do but that thing is a real show stopper. I didn't know the tractors owner but hope he takes it to the local shows this year. If he does I probably should leave my ratty old Bantam at home.
The Shop owner took us out to the pasture and showed us his Studebaker 2 wheeler. He kind of let on like he'd sell but I already have a bunch of Gravelys so I didn't pursue it. It was a base model 6.6 with no governor and no electric start. We thanked the man for showing us around and headed out.
Once on the road, Ronnie pulls out his cell and makes a call. He has a friend that has quite a collection of old iron. Nothing is for sale and no one gets a tour but since Ronnie is good friends with the guy I got the royal treatment! This guy is around 70 years old and I got the impression he grew up on that same parcel of real estate. There were old cars, trucks, and tractors sitting everywhere!
We pull in what is supposed to be the driveway and there are holes bigger than my pickup! I had to weave my way in, dodging the water holes. I'm sure there hasn't been a load of gravel dumped on that drive since WW-II - and maybe never. When this guy is done with something he parks it and there it stays.
I was in awe!
He showed me a '28 John Deere D that he said there was nothing wrong with it the day he parked it in that spot. He had been in a nearby town running a thresher for a show. After hauling it home he unloaded it and it hasn't been moved since. There was a very small amount of green paint on the top of the radiator but the rest is surface rust. Steel wheels are sunk 8 inches or more into the ground. I offered to jack it up out of the ground and block the wheels so they didn't rot out. He didn't seem interested. Engine was locked of course.
In front of an old 4 wheeled farm wagon I found what I believe is an I-H "M" hit-N-miss engine - upside down and nearly half sunk in the dirt. He said that was a good engine and it was sitting on that wagon until the boards rotted and dumped the engine. It lit upside down just like you see it.
I spotted a red convertible and went over to check it out. It had sunk to where the rocker panels are even with the ground and the top rotted away many years ago. There was a slight effort made to keep the water out with some used barn tin but I'm sure there are no floorboards left. When I peeked inside I saw it was a 4 speed car. That got my interest up quite a bit! I stepped back - it says Fairlane on the quarter panel. Hmmm, by looking at the taillights when approaching I was thinking 65 or 66 Galaxie. I wonder what is in front of that 4 speed.....
I walked around the front and it has chrome inserts down both sides of the hood.....
Wholly crap! 390 in a [smaller] car such as a Fairlane?
I asked the guy: "Did that car go fast?"
Straight faced and somber he says: "Oh, it'd go about 90"
I say: "You must have only wanted to go 90 because I'm sure that car would go faster than that"
He nonchalantly says: "Then I'd hit fourth and it'd just fry the back tires"
I turn to look at him and he's grinning from ear to ear.
Turns out he bought that car brand new in 66 and he says it has the 375 horse 390. What a fun car that one would be! The body is straight as an arrow. I'd love to jack it up out of the dirt as well - even though I know I'll never get the chance to own it.
There was [most] of another John Deere D, 2 SC Case's, a VAC Case, 10-20 McCormic Deering, a cane press that is the biggest one I've ever seen. It has three drums and is still mounted on poles about four feet high right where they used to operate it many years ago. I saw an very early reaper and a ground driven corn picker. There was also a '58 or '59 GMC 1/2 ton with a great body. Still had the name on the doors and the last name was the same as the fellow that was showing me around. I didn't ask but it very well could have been his fathers. Also present but under a roof was a D2 cat dozer and a '46 Jeep flat fender. This place was a real time capsule.
Although sad that nothing is for sale, I firmly believe that is his right. Those items are his to do with as he pleases. I do wish he had better means to preserve them. He is an old bachelor and my understanding is he has a sister. He stated that after he dies his sister will probably "just let everything rot down".
I was trying not to laugh when he continued, "I've been doing a pretty good job of it myself"
Sorry, I didn't get any pictures. I did have my camera with me but I'm certain pictures wouldn't be allowed. I will not divulge where this place is - just picture it in your mind as I described the items.
What a fun day it was for me.
The entire time we were looking at treasures there were dozens of State Patrol and Sherrif cars going by. We knew something was up and heard later on the news that the law had a bad guy cornered just down the road a few miles. He was wanted in another state for attempted murder. They knew right where he was because they brought in a helecopter with thermal energy images and found him but he was armed. The law was waiting him out so he'd be cold and hungry enough to surrender, which he eventually did and no shots were fired.
I took Ronnie home and headed for the home place, arriving just before dark. Pushed the Blackhawk in the shop and closed the doors on a very enjoyable day.
Thanks for reading.
Edited by Gtractor, January 23, 2015 - 03:58 AM.