Restored pedal tractor
The Beauprez family has always lived in Colorado and farmed with horsepower provided by Oliver tractors. Although the Beauprezs quit farming in recent years, Oliver tractors still fill an irreplaceable niche. The former farm family is simply obsessed with those famed green machines.
It all started when Joe and Marie Beauprez founded the family's farm in Boulder County in 1948. Situated in Northeast Colorado, the western edge of Boulder County begins in the Rocky Mountains and sweeps eastward across Boulder Valley - including the City of Boulder - and extends onto the high prairie lands to the east.
Joe and Marie raised three sons and one daughter. Together, Joe and his sons farmed the fertile prairie in eastern Boulder County, and in the process developed a world-renowned herd of registered Holstein cattle on land the family dubbed the Boulder Valley Holstein Farm. They also planted crops, using Oliver tractors.
The first was a Model 70 Row-Crop bought in 1941 before Joe and Marie moved to the family farm. A few years later, at the peak of their farming operation, they used four Oliver tractors: a Model 77 Row-Crop gasoline tractor, a Model 88 Row-Crop gasoline tractor as well as a Model 1800 gasoline tractor and a Model 1850 diesel tractor.
Urban sprawl eventually came knocking, and the City of Lafayette, Colo., ultimately engulfed the farm. As a result, the Beauprezs sold their dairy herd in 1990. Today, a beautiful city-owned golf course and a 500-home subdivision blanket the former farm. Even without a place to plant crops and tend cattle, the Beauprezs never lost their love for the land or those Oliver tractors that served them so well for more than 40 years.
Tractors turned hobby
The family can't work the old farm anymore, but the Beauprezs manage to maintain their love for Oliver tractors by collecting everything from full-sized versions to 1/16-scale Oliver model tractors. Joe and Marie's son, Mike Beauprez, cultivates his collecting hobby by restoring antique Oliver tractors and their smaller cousins, Oliver pedal tractors.
Mike restored his first tractor in 1993, an Oliver Model 70 Standard. His current collection has 12 tractors, including six Olivers: a Model 99 Standard, a Model 80 Row-Crop, a Model 80 Standard, a Model 70 Row-Crop, a Model 70 Standard and a Model 60 Standard. Three more Oliver tractors await final restoration. Would he ever sell a restored Oliver? 'I'll price any of my other tractors, but never an Oliver,' Mike says with a grin. 'That's my tractor of choice.'
Their old farm was urbanized, but the original house and barn stand amidst the new development. Joe and Marie still live in the farmhouse and use a portion of the barn for antique tractor restoration. 'I grew up with Olivers, and we farmed with as many as four,' Mike explains about his own Oliver obsession. 'Restoring antique tractors lets me have contact with something I enjoy, and it fills a void. It's a hobby that I like.'
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