BETWEEN THE BOOKENDS


| March 2000



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The new Classic Tractor Fever video

Videos to Tide You Over until Show Season

In late winter, show season is tantalizingly close. But if you just can't wait another minute, three new videos are available to tide you over.

For the antique tractor enthusiast, the Classic Tractor Fever video is a companion piece to the Classic Farm Tractors Calendar for 2000. The calendar features a unique and handsomely restored tractor each month, and the video expands on that.

John Harvey, creator of the Classic Farm Tractor Calendar, has dispatched a first-rate film crew to nearly every corner of the country to visit the owners of just over a dozen one-of-a-kind tractors. The resulting hour-long video gives an inside look at what motivates collectors and restorers of vintage classics. The way old iron bonds generations, for instance, is an ever-present theme.

Wendell Kelch is among the film's subjects. When Kelch bought a 1917 Titan 30-60 at the Oscar's Dreamland auction in 1998, the Titan was immediately tagged as 'the most expensive tractor on the face of the earth.' Kelch paid $126,000 for the Titan, which he set to work restoring. But when the film crew visited with Kelch's father, he wanted to talk about his son's first restoration project-undertaken when Wendell was 10!

Bill Montgomery, whose 1927 Farmall is featured in the video, noted that he and his son, Billy, 'caught the fever together' (although Billy prefers the harvest gold of Minneapolis Moline tractors). And then there's the Oliver 70 owned by William K. Cover. The Oliver is rare in its own right (more on that later), but family ties make it special: it was originally Cover's grandfather's tractor; the grandson tracked it down and purchased it years after his granddad had sold the rare classic.

Family ties like those wrap around this video like ribbons around a special gift. But the film also captures the beauty of the rural American countryside; the simple and enduring architecture of the farm; the pride each of these owners take in their farms, their tractors, their restorations.