Case Tractor Connection

A Minnesota man builds a Case tractor collection around boyhood memories.

| July 2017

  • Steve Ringen’s Case 930 Standard diesel looks similar to his 930 Comfort King.
    Photo by Bill Vossler
  • The narrow chrome strip shows on Steve’s 1941 Case SC, one of his favorite features. He’s yet to see another tractor like it.
    Photo by Nikki Rajala
  • A familiar story: Steve went to an auction to buy a plow, but came home with this 1968 Case 930 Comfort King.
    Photo by Bill Vossler
  • Steve’s 1941 Case LA tractor.
    Photo by Bill Vossler
  • Steve at the wheel of his Case SC.
    Photo by Bill Vossler
  • Steve uses this 1941 Case LA tractor in field demonstrations at the Butterfield show.
    Photo by Nikki Rajala
  • Steve uses this 4-bottom Case plow at the Butterfield (Minn.) Steam & Gas Engine Show each year.
    Photo by Bill Vossler
  • Steve’s Case Centennial plow is designed for use in mucky ground.
    Photo by Nikki Rajala
  • Steve remembers his dad using a Case check-row planter similar to this one.
    Photo by Nikki Rajala
  • Though commonly used into the 1950s, check-row planters lost their usefulness with the development of more advanced planters. With more technology, productivity per acre rose dramatically, and crop spraying eliminated the need for the intensive cultivating practices of the past.
    Photo by Nikki Rajala
  • Steve’s Comfort King has an 8-speed transmission.
    Photo by Bill Vossler
  • Case engines like the one on this Model LA are known for their lugging power.
    Photo by Nikki Rajala

It was inevitable that Steve Ringen would get involved with old tractors at some point in his life. He grew up on a farm, and that accounts for part of his interest in old iron. But the fact that the family farm was adjacent to the grounds of the Butterfield (Minnesota) Steam & Gas Engine Show was an equally important factor.

“I loved farming and helping Dad doing stuff, and I always thought a lot of those older tractors were neat,” he says. “Plus, we lived right next to the threshing show. I got interested that way.”

Steve’s dad had a 1951 Case DC and a 1942 Case SC that father and son used for cultivating. “Dad would cultivate four rows with the DC, and leave two rows for me,” he says. “After he made a round, I would use the SC to do two rows, so we had a six-row cultivating method. That’s how I got started, when I was probably 11 years old.”

A few years later, Steve saw a 1947 SC for sale and bought it. “After that, I kept buying tractors every year or two when I had some extra money,” he says. “I also started getting plows and other implements, because I wanted to plow at the Butterfield show. It’s no fun having your stuff just sitting there. The fun is in the driving, so we have 10 acres of the threshing bee’s land set aside to plow every year, with an acre for horses to plow, too.”



Old iron with bling

Strips of chrome on the hoods give a pair of Case tractors in Steve’s collection a special shine. The tractors – a 1941 Case LA and 1941 Case SC narrow front – are among the last of Case’s pre-war tractors to sport chrome trim. In 1942, Case discontinued use of the gleaming metal in support of the war effort.

When Steve got a chance to buy the 1941 Case SC, he didn’t hesitate. But the chrome trim wasn’t the only thing that attracted his interest. The 1941 model was the only Case SC with an exhaust pipe in the center of the hood. “They discovered that it was in the way for planting,” he says, “so the next year it was moved off to the side, so you could see the planting mark.”

KenChristopherson
12/10/2017 12:26:55 PM

I also live in MN, and have never met Steve. I also have a 1941 Case SC Center Exhaust tractor, and am currently trying to create a registry of the Case SC Center Exhaust series tractors that are left. Would it be possible to get in contact with Steve so that I may add his Case SC serial number to my registry list? Beautiful collection!




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