Versatile 700: One Powerful Tractor
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Denny says his 700 is a rare tractor, at least in his area. “I’ve seen a lot of 800s across the Dakotas, but I’ve never seen another 700 Series 2 before. When other people see the machine, their initial reaction is ‘Wow!’ They also can’t believe how clean and tight it is, and not worn out. I keep it in a shed because you don’t want to see it age if you don’t need to.
“When you’re driving the Versatile, she’s a big monster. You feel like you’re sitting on top of the world. She rides real well and has lots of power,” Denny adds. “With that 25-foot disc, you can take off in whatever gear you want to and go up the hill of dirt, throttling up and picking up the pace as you go.”
Looking down the road
Denny is in the process of restoring a 1935 John Deere Unstyled B tractor. He also has a 1973 Oliver 1365. “I worked for an Oliver dealer in Nowthen, Minn., and they had an Oliver 1365 that was new when I was a kid,” he says. “Years later I drove one on a farm near Anoka and just loved the tractor. I could hardly wait until I found one.”
He turned one up in Iowa, finding a 1973 Oliver 1365 that a farmer had bought brand new and used only to pick up rock and run an auger on a 160-acre farm. “When I brought it back and hooked it on the brush mower, I had to take the paint out of the three-point hitch,” Denny says, “because it had never been used.”
In the future, he’d like to find an Oliver Cletrac dozer in halfway decent shape. “I’ve played around with those and I thought they were pretty neat for their time,” he says. “I think I’d enjoy it even more because I’m in the excavating business.”
But the Versatile 700 is still Denny’s pride and joy. “I was very fortunate to find a Versatile in such good condition that I will basically never have to work on it,” he says. FC
For more information: Denny May, (763) 434-4741; email@example.com.
Bill Vossler is a freelance writer and author of several books on antique farm tractors and toys. Contact him at Box 372, 400 Caroline Ln., Rockville, MN 56369; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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