Orphan Tractors Find Homes
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Thus, "out there" could lead a good collector to change his vacation destination!
"If one thing was the Empire's claim to fame," Carl adds, "it was the straight bar hitch that pulled from under the center of the tractor, thus making an overturn nearly impossible. The other selling point was the Willys engine and drive train made famous during World War II."
The Empire Club offers some reproduction tractor parts, and has compiled an Empire farm equipment guide book set. The club newsletter, similar to those of other such organizations, offers advice on restoration, sources for parts and equipment, special events and more. But commercialism is not stressed; the club correspondence reads like a family letter.
The January 1997 Empire newsletter describes a factory prototype made on Nov. 7, 1947. Purchased at auction by Robert Brell, Elwood, Neb., the early model had a larger-than-normal toolbox, tilt hood, and other design characteristics not found on later models. Discoveries like that are what keep collectors of rare tractors and orphans on the hunt. FC For more information:– Carl Hering, Empire Tractor Owners Club, 5862 State Route 90 N., Cayuga, NY 13034; (315) 253-8151 (home) or (315) 246-7788 (cell); e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; online at http://www.empiretractor.net.– Kenneth Walters (for Graham-Bradley and B.F. Avery information), 11707 S. 850 W., Akron, IN, 46910; (219) 893-7038.Gary Van Hoozer is a Missouri writer specializing in vintage agriculture and farm history.
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