1921 IHC Titan 10-20 Tractor: South Dakota Family Heirloom
(Page 3 of 3)
Bob was legendary in Buffalo County for his expertise with vintage gas engines. In addition to the Titan, Bob collected stationary gas engines that he displayed on a flatbed trailer. For parades, he’d start each engine, allowing spectators to enjoy the sound and sight of them running.
“I don’t use any wire or anything unusual to make them run,” Bob said. “They’re all restored and run like they’re supposed to. I was born that way. You do things right.”
Before his eyesight began to dim, Bob often shared insight and information with local engine enthusiasts. With a lifelong knack for mechanics, Bob’s understanding of engines allowed him to determine just how to set a particular gas engine to obtain the best performance. “The rest of us better be paying attention,” Red said last fall. “We won’t always have Dad around to tell us how things should be set.”
Making old things new
For the most part, the Olsons’ Titan is used only in parades these days. When it’s running, the ground beneath it rumbles and vibrates, and the driver shakes along with the huge engine. A cherished family heirloom, the tractor remains a monument of an era now lost to time. Red and his son, Chad, say they’ll spend the rest of their lives maintaining the tractor. That pride of ownership may just be a family trait.
“Dad said he felt as proud as a feather on a goose’s back when he first drove that shiny new Titan into the yard,” Bob said. “It saw a lot of use, but Dad took real good care of it. My brother, Archie, and I used it every fall at our threshing bee. Our mother (Olga) knew a lot about the tractor too. It’s spent its entire lifetime in Buffalo County, just like me.”
Bob clearly treasured the link to the past made possible by the Titan. “There’s something about making old things new,” he said. “I like to see things brought back to life. It takes time and money and it’s challenging, but there’s a lot of reward in it too.” FC
Loretta Sorensen is a lifelong resident of southeast South Dakota. She and her husband farm with Belgian draft horses and collect vintage farm equipment. E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Page: << Previous 1
| 3 |