Happened to stumble upon this article while very slowly trying to search tractor pics yesterday. I think the internet had a cold or something. *lol* Anyway, here's the article (if everything posts correctly) without the pesky Adblocker screen. The paper appears to be located in Fremont, Nebraska:
Wahoo man has a love for old tractors
By Tammy Real-McKeighan/Fremont Tribune Dec 17, 2008
Bob Janecek of Wahoo stands near a tractor that hes restoring. To date, he has restored 43 tractors. His goal is 50. By restoring the antique tractors, hes preserving history and keeping them out of the junkyard.
If you want to know something about old tractors, ask Bob Janecek.
The Wahoo man sounds like a computer database when it comes to knowing years and makes and models of antique tractors. An antique tractor waiting to be restored is situated in the front yard of his home on the south end of town.
To date, he has restored 43 tractors, which he keeps in various locations.
His goal is 50.
Why restore so many? Janecek has a couple of reasons. For one, hes preserving history.
If I didnt restore them, they used to go to the junkyards. It makes me sick, he said.
Earlier this year, more people were junking old tractors when scrap iron reached about $200 per ton. Thats not so much the case now since the price has dropped to $50 per ton, he said.
And like other artisans, Janecek also likes to see the finished product.
When you get it all done, thats when you really enjoy it, he said.
But the road to tractor restoration has been a long one.
Janecek, now 78, began collecting tractors in 1964.
I started going to tractor shows and parades and got interested, he said.
His first two projects werent tractors, though. Instead, he restored a 1928 Model A car and a 1925 Model T truck. But those projects didnt exactly fuel his enthusiasm for restoration.
They seemed like too much work, so I went to tractors, he said.
His first tractor was a 1937 Allis-Chalmers, model WC.
He was the tractors second owner as he would be for many more to come.
It was in very good condition and about all I had to was paint it. I thought that was easy, he said.
More tractors rolled into his life.
One, an Allis-Chalmers 20-35 Wheatland, came from western North Dakota. The tractor is 80 years old.
It was the biggest tractor in that era, he said. It was a very good plow and belt tractor. In those days, they looked at tractors for the belt work, he said, explaining that threshing machines ran off the tractor.
Janecek tries to restore one tractor a year. He starts in November, working anywhere from two to three hours per day although sometimes hell work six or eight until July.
Thats when he likes to take part in the Camp Creek Antique Tractor Show at Waverly, a two-day event he helped organize in 1976.
We get between 8,000 and 9,000 people in the two days, he said, adding, I never thought it would grow like that. I guess we have what it takes and a good location.
Maybe part of what it takes are some interesting tractors. Some Janeceks tractors include:
n A 1936 Silver King. This gray tractor with red wheels was first called a Plymouth, until the makers had to change the name due to a lawsuit with the Chrysler Corp. They decided on the new name and because they thought they had the king of tractors and due to the machines color, he said.
n A 1941 Minneapolis Model R with a cab. The tractor is yellow with red wheels. Its a nice tractor and the cab is very attractive, Janecek said. Its the first model to have a cab.
n A 1940 International Harvester Company, Model M. Janecek bought this bright red tractor at Bennet. A World War II era tractor, it came without accessories. No rubber tires. No starter or generator; instead it came with a hand crank.
I never put a starter on it, Janecek said.
Many of Janeceks antique tractors have steel wheels. Rubber tires didnt come along until 1933, he said. Allis-Chalmers tractors were green until 1930. The color change story goes like this Janecek said:
This head guy went to California on a trip and saw wild poppies that were orange and he said, Thats our color.
Janecek has lots of stories. He also enjoys the camaraderie among tractor collectors.
This is one hobby where you collect a lot of good common sense friends, he said. Were not out to gyp anybody. Were just out to make friends and tell our stories about restoring tractors and do some swapping and trading of part.
There are scalpers, he added, but a true collector doesnt take advantage of the other guy. Hes just there for the collecting.
Looking back, he credits his wife of 57 years, Dolores, for raising five children and putting up with his tractor collection.
Shes a pretty good wife, he said.