BEFORE & AFTER

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Case 200 utility tractor

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A Case for all Seasons

Larry Stirtzinger of Dunnville, Ontario, proudly paraded his restored Case 200 utility tractor in the 2002 Santa Claus Parade in Dunnville, pulling the Girl Guides' prize-winning float. Yet, when he first set eyes on that Case, it was almost buried in a decades-old accumulation of debris. 'It took three hours just to get it out of the barn,' he recalls.

Larry spent the next three years on the tractor's restoration, transforming it into today's paradin' machine. Every part he used on the Case was new, but fit original specifications.

It's described in Case literature as a 'garden tractor,' he says, with a 126-cubic-inch engine rated at 26 hp on the draw bar and 30 on the belt. 'I'm looking for a pulley for it,' Larry adds.

The 200s were only made in 1958 and 1959, Larry says, and although his tractor's serial number tag is missing, he guesses it's a 1958. The tractor came from Welland, Ontario, which is about 30 minutes from Dunnville. 'It had a price on it,' Larry recalls. 'It was take it or leave it.'

The machine probably worked pretty hard in its day, likely doing orchard chores, Larry says. The hole in the drawbar had been stretched from circular to oblong as a consequence of heavy use, and the sheet metal was 'very rough' from being dinged repeatedly over the years, but the engine was good -'I haven't even opened it up,' Larry says.

Along with the tractor, Larry got a factory Case Eagle hitch drawbar, which goes on the 200's three-point hitch, above the other drawbar. Unlike that other drawbar, the Eagle-hitch drawbar remains in pretty good shape, and Larry says he's pleased to have it.

The tractor has a six-volt electrical system that includes a tail light on the left side that glows either red or white, depending on which way a button is pushed. Larry has restored it, and had the starter, generator and regulator rebuilt. He says he could have spent time searching for replacement parts. For about the same price, however, he has the originals back in the tractor again, and functioning.

The only thing on the tractor that isn't original right now are the grilles, which Larry made himself to use until he can find actual new old-stock grilles.

To restore the Case cosmetically, Larry had it stripped, power-washed and sandblasted first. Then, necessary bodywork was done to the sheet metal, after which all the parts were primed with genuine Case primer and painted with original Case red paint.

Larry discovered a person in Tillsonburg, Ontario, who is making original-style covers for the battery and radiator cap. Those will add to the tractor's finished look. He's also put 'the whole tractor up on Goodyear rubber,' to ensure it rolls right along when he parades the machine. That meant new tires, tubes and rims on the back and new tires and tubes on the front. 'I will wear the tires out faster on pavement than in a field,' he notes.

Next show season, Larry plans to exhibit the tractor at the Golden Horseshoe Show at Caledonia, Ontario, and at the Huron Pioneer Thresher & Hobby Association's annual gathering in Blyth, Ontario. He'll also make his usual appearances at a variety of local Dunnville events. If things work out, Larry adds hopefully, he may show off his tractor in the United States. FC

- For more information about Larry's Case 200 utility tractor, contact him at (905) 774-8615.