When we were young...
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It's no surprise then that the first tractors John restored were a 10-20 and his father's original 15-30. 'I spent many days on the seat of that thing in the 1930s,' he recalled.
Since those first two projects, John has completed a dozen more, including a Rock Island, a couple of International Titan 10-20s, several McCormick-Deerings, a T-20 IHC crawler and a Minneapolis 35-70.
'Most of them didn't need anything in the way of parts, but just needed to be cleaned up,' he said.
'Sometimes the pistons were rusted tight so I had to press them out and clean them up. I did practically all the restoration stuff myself. I had a sandblasting outfit, so they were all sandblasted down to the bare metal and then given two or three coats of paint.'
The Minneapolis tractor had signs, rather than decals, that needed to be repainted. 'That machine is still at the LeSeuer County (Minn.) Pioneer Power Showgrounds, and we run it every year,' John said. 'It's my favorite because it's the biggest one, and it's always drawn the most attention.'
Also stored at the LeSeuer County Pioneer Power Showgrounds is a 1950 power shovel that John counts among dozens of other sorts of machines that he's brought back to life over time. He bought the shovel in 1965 to use at his Hiniker Sand and Gravel Co.
'It holds a half yard of gravel,' he said. 'I washed sand and gravel for concrete and plastering and brick layers. I sold a lot of material for manufacture of concrete blocks.'
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