Second Act for a Fox
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Perhaps the biggest assist from the Works family was donation of a Fox 6644 parts and instruction manual. “We had 500 parts laid out, hanging up in the attic,” Doug marvels. “I didn’t always know where pieces went, because three people had torn it apart. So we set some to the side and worked on the easy stuff, and kept narrowing it down, handling the little pieces, and then looking in the book to figure out with the pictures where a certain part went. It was like putting a giant puzzle together after dumping all the pieces out of the box. You start with the easy pieces first and then go to the harder ones.”
Besides making the Fox 6644 look and work as well as it had the day it came off the factory line at Appleton, Wis., there were other benefits to the work. “I’m close to all my kids, but I think this helped bring Nathan, Logan and me closer,” Doug says. “Nathan had helped me with the John Deere and IH tractors, and he did a lot of work on the chopper. Logan helped a lot too, but he had a lot of other things going on in his life at the time, with school and all.”
The project also gave Doug the chance to impress a personal philosophy on his sons: “I’m always reminding them that there are people in the world who make things happen, people who watch what happens and people who wonder what happened. I told them to take pride in what you’ve accomplished; take pride in your work. It doesn’t matter if you’re mowing lawns or washing a car.”
Another piece in the restoration project was tracking company history. “I made dozens of telephone calls trying to track down Fox information,” Doug says. “I called dealers looking for literature to put on display when Dave and Ken Raether asked me to display the chopper at John Deere Days in Marion recently.”
It was a time consuming and often frustrating process, but Doug found some good resources. He’s become good friends with surviving managers of Fox Tractor Co. and they’ve showered him with memorabilia and information. “I can’t describe it any other way,” Doug says. “They’ve given me patches, shirts, jackets, tie clips and more as they find it and realize how enthusiastic I am about Fox. One man gave me some of his personal Fox awards, because he said his children might just throw them away but he could see that they had meaning to me. They‘ve also given me personal photos that no one else would have.” Recently Doug came home to find an orange bundle: original factory authorized coveralls.