So this eighty-year-old man named Bob took us around to three different locations to see their Olivers. He apologized for not inviting us into his house. "My wife died five years ago of cancer, and I'm not too good a housekeeper."
He loves those Oliver tractors, and it was worth the trip just to meet this man. He told us he has one good ear, one good eye, and one good leg. "At least so far I've only lost things I have two of," he said.
The first tractor he showed us was right there behind his house: An 1855 Oliver diesel, one of the last ones built. It was manufactured in 1973. Don't ask me who Cliff's talking to; his cell phone rings often. It was probably his brother Don.
Then we went to another farm and Cliff test-drove a 1655 Oliver diesel. This one was well-worn, and requires a dose of ether to start it.
And the tires were horrible. Do you have any idea what a tractor tire costs? Don't ask.
Then we went to another of his farms (his family farms 2000 acres) and looked at Bob's personal favorite: it's a 1655 gas tractor. Trouble is, Cliff wants a diesel. He really would have preferred a 1655, and they had two of them. But one wasn't diesel, and one was worn out with bad tires.
Bob's son, Lee, showed up and shot us some prices. Cliff came home, did some research, and decided on the first one we looked at. The 1855 Oliver made in 1973.
And now... Arkansas, here we come!