It All Started with a Minneapolis-Moline Tractor

For a Minnesota family, old iron becomes a shared hobby.

| September 2019

 Ed Determan’s 1948 B.F. Avery Model A tractor. Photo by Bill Vossler

When Ed Determan attended the Almelund, Minnesota, Threshing Show seven years ago, he didn’t realize that one single event would change his life. “It’s only about 6 miles from our house in North Branch,” he says, “so my son, William, who was 3, and my father, Roger, and I went there and started walking around.”

Ed’s father grew up working on farms and had some tractors himself. At the show, he took a picture of his grandson next to a restored Minneapolis-Moline 445 tractor.

“My dad had a 445 in his backyard and the engine was stuck,” Ed says. “After I saw the one at the show, I thought, ‘I bet I could fix that one up and paint it, and make it look like that.’” As it turns out, he could – but it would take the next two years.

The project allowed him to spend more time with his father, who helped with the work. “We tore the engine down and it turned into a hobby pretty fast,” Ed says. But the project also resulted in a bit of stress. After getting underway, Ed learned that Minneapolis-Moline was the featured line at the next Almelund show.

“At that point, we only had a three-month window to get it torn down, sandblasted, painted and put together so we could take it to that show that year,” he says. “I worked on it for three or four hours every night with my dad,” he says. “It consumed me. My wife (Jaime) told me that on the next one, I should take my time.”


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