20 RARE CATS TO BE AT ROLLAG

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Greenbush, Minn. 56726

I am a retired contractor who built over 2,000 miles of roads
from 1917 to 1969. I bought and wore out many Best and 60 Cats
through the years. Since retiring, I’ve started collecting
early Cats. I located a 60 near Oslo, Minnesota on the bank of the
Red River. A Mr. Solum owned it. Had planned to restore it but
figured it was too big a job for him as the cat has been under
water in a spring flood. It sat all summer with crank-case and gear
cases full of water. The following winter the frost rusted the oil
pan off the motor, pushed out plugs, etc. I did not know that it
had been under water. I bought the Cat without seeing it.

Mr. Solum sent me two pictures of different views of the Cat. I
sent him my check and said I would take both 60’s. He wrote
back saying he had only one and sent me half of the money back. I
sent my truck over to get it; but it was too wet over there to get
near the Cat, so my driver came back without it.

Mr. Solum tried to pull the 60 with his big farm tractors but it
would not move. It was rusted solid brake and clutches. I went down
with a cutting torch and cut the brake band loose, but it still
would not move! The brake linings were rusted and stuck to the
brake drums. Finally got the linings loose from the drums, then we
loaded it onto the truck. Had to take it all apart; got the
steering clutches out after a couple days of twisting off and
breaking rusted bolts. Had to take the drums off, then clean all
the disks, etc., and realign brakes, etc. The motor had not been
covered on exhaust pipe valves and pistons rusted solid.

I took the rods loose and took each cylinder off with rod and
piston from the crankcase. Afterwards, I soaked them with diesel
fuel for a couple of days. After scraping out the rust on top and
bottom of the cylinders. Then I put them in a 40-ton press. Finally
got the pistons out but had to put them in lathe to remove the
rings. I was fortunate to find 6- x rings at the John Deere
dealership that I had sold 25 years before. I found rings from old
parts stock I had sold the dealer. It was a lot of hard labor
getting the old 60 to come back to life but was worth it, after
hearing it run like new, as it had 50 years before. It will be in
parades on Labor Day weekend at Rollag Steam Threshers Show.

We have more of the largest and oldest tractors than any show I
know of. We have three operating steam railroad trains. Gave over
60,000 people free rides last Labor Day weekend. We also have some
of the largest steam engines like a 750 HP 2 cylinder vertical
standing about 25′ tall; A 450 HP with 16′ flywheel making
electricity; and a 250 HP steam mill making flour; about 30 other
large steam tractors engines, some plow with plows 6, 8, 10 and
14-bottom, and others saw lumber, lath and shingle. See about 20
rare early Caterpillars I restored and bring to our show. Rollag is
about 35 miles SE of Fargo Moorhead on Highway 32. It is a very
small town that never had a railroad and now has three steam
railroads. All operating! Don’t miss this great show. We have
over 900 real people putting it on. As for myself pushing 84, but
still have to have something to play with. Come see us there, come
early and get a good parking place with hook-up for your
trailers.

Farm Collector Magazine
Farm Collector Magazine
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