Oldest oldies


| May 2002



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Bob Nixon's 1928 Rumely is "a regular" at Pioneer Park Days in Zolfo Springs, Fla. "I always take it to Zolfo"

Two of the oldest tractors on display this year at Pioneer Park Days in Zolfo Springs, Fla., belonged to men named Bob. Bob Nixon of West Palm Beach, Fla., brought his 1928 Rumely OilPull, and most of his family, and Bob Engle of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., brought his 1921 8-16 International, still attached to the poplar that had grown up through the drawbar during a 40-year stint in the woods.

Engle says the 8-16 was rescued from the woods in 1990 by Carroll Whisnant of Hickory, N.C. Whisnant was trying to buy a John Deere engine from the 8-16's owner and ended up having to take the tractor in order to get the engine. To remove the tractor from the woods, Whitsant had to saw through the tree.

A year and a half later, Engle met Whisnant at a Kissimmee, Fla., tractor show and saw a photograph of the 8-16 and its tree. Engle recalls asking him, 'What would I have to give you for that tractor?'

Because Whisnant was a John Deere man at heart, he not only was ready to deal - he had a proposal. He told Engle he'd trade the tractor for another JD engine, a particular 3 hp hit-and-miss that Whisnant had sold to a friend of Engle's, Dick Edwards.

Whisnant apparently missed the 3 hp engine; following the Kissimmee show, he sent Engle a video of the International, and Engle went to see Edwards.

'Dick and his wife sold me that engine for $650,' Engle said, 'and I traded it for that tractor, sight unseen.'