Out of the hills of New England


| January 2003



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Jim Robinson's 1955 International TD14 dozer

Part 2

A big, red 1955 dozer - an International TD14 with a Buckeye Erie blade attached - helped mark the entrance to the Connecticut Antique Machinery Association's showgrounds during the annual fall festival in September last year. The dozer's owner, Jim Robinson of Derby, Conn., says he is only the second person to hold title to the big machine, which survived the flood of 1955 in the Housatonic and Naugatuck river valleys. For the past six or seven years, Jim has kept it at the CAMA showgrounds, north of Kent, Conn., and used it on a variety of tough tasks.

The big, red dozer also serves as a herald for more machinery that's parked down the lane. Agricultural Hall, on the far side of the showgrounds, shelters a number of vintage gasoline tractors owned by CAMA members, a couple of steam traction engines awaiting boiler work and a very well-preserved Buffalo Springfield road roller. Most of the tractors were out and moving about the showgrounds for the festival, mingling with other classics brought in just for the occasion.

The oldest 'visiting' tractor may have been a 1920 Titan 10-20, owned by Art Downs of Washington, Conn. An International collector, Art says he bought the tractor 10 years ago out of New York state and thinks it probably was used primarily for belt work as the wheels aren't very worn.

Possibly the shiniest tractor on display was a 1944 Massey-Harris model 81, serial no. 404758, owned by Richard Larusso of New Milford, Conn. He recently had the tractor professionally restored; it is rated as a two-plow machine, powered by a six-cylinder Continental engine with a 3.002-inch bore and a 3.38-inch stroke. The tractor features a three-speed transmission and has a maximum road speed of 12 mph.

A father-and-son restoration team, Louis and Steve Tencza, also of New Milford, trucked in a freshly restored 1939 Cletrac model EG42 that they bought derelict from Larusso, who is a neighbor. Along with it, the Tenczas showed a 1947 Gibson model D; Steve's own 1950 Ford 8N, which was featured in the Classic MotorBooks calendar a few years ago; a 1935 Farmall F-12 on iron wheels and a 1948 McCormick-Deering W-6 Standard, all fully restored.

Jay Monroe of Wilton, Conn., brought his Connecticut-made Beaver garden tractor and a CoPar Panzer, both dating to the mid-1950s. The Shaw 'Du-All' folks, holding their 2002 national show in conjunction with the festival, displayed 43 Shaws, including a bicycle with a Shaw engine in it that came all the way from Parsons, Kan.