Sunday, December 19, 2010

What is Cliff doing with all these tractors?

Milly, a city gal, read the previous entry and asked, "Are these antiques?  Special tractors?  And once they are fixed or restored what does he do with them?  
Milly, Cliff just happens to love tractors. 

At one time we had about a dozen of them of various kinds and colors; of the ones in this picture, only two remain.  Some people collect stamps or coins; Cliff collects tractors.  Every one is special to him.  
We do need a tractor for our forty acres, but the newest one in our possession, a John Deere (the green one in the picture), can do the job just fine.  The other tractors hanging around here make up Cliff's very expensive hobby.  
They're more like what you'd call "classic" tractors rather than antiques, manufactured in the sixties and seventies.  
The oldest tractor he has is one he restored with the oldest grandson years ago; it was built in the fifties.  That's it above, before restoration; it hadn't run in several years.  I couldn't find a good picture of it as it looks now, but it's the bright red, shiny one in that first picture.  That grandson is now in his mid-twenties.  Cliff keeps this one for sentimental reasons, and says it will go to Arick eventually.    
The reason he sold off most of his collection a few years ago was that he realized it was silly having all these unused tractors sitting here looking pretty; it isn't good for them to just sit idly by, unused.  
I'm sure you've heard of people restoring antique and classic cars; this is the same, only it's tractors.  
There is no money to be made in fixing up these tractors, and plenty to be spent.  Cliff lost money on most of the tractors he sold; but he had fun working on them, and how does one put a price on fun?  He doesn't golf; he doesn't spend money in bars.  
The huge tractor he's working on in the shop is an 1855 Oliver, far to big to use on forty acres.  But he always wanted to own one, so there it is.  
The little Oliver is actually about the right size for our place, but as I said, we have a John Deere that does everything we need done.  
What does he do with them?  
When he's finished with the small Oliver, he will probably plow the occasional garden with it, and use it to pull trailers around the place; he might take it to a few tractor shows within driving distance, perhaps the ones at Adrian and Booneville.     
The big one?  Once it's completely "broke in" from its engine tuneup, he'll drive it up and down the road and around the pasture once in awhile, I guess.  And walk around it often, admiring its beauty.  
In trying to explain his passion, I've come to the realization that he has a disease!  Tractoritis!  
Do you know of any twelve-step programs for tractor aficionados?  

5 comments:

Margaret said...

I know of no cure for men's vehicle passions. My husband loves Jeeps. However, I made him get rid of his CJ-5 because we didn't need more than one "toy" around.

Lindie said...

My husband's tractor and it's equipment was his favorite thing. We only had 19 acres but he loved to take care of them. I have a brother in law who collects old service vehicles, jeeps, trucks and even a "duck".

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

Men do have to have their toys and although not many live where they can work on classic tractors it seems all men have something they love to putter around with.

Milly said...

You described this very well -- and I get it. My hubby likes tools -- if one screwdriver is good, a dozen is even better. Everyone in our acquaintance has received a tool kit from him at one time or another -- made up of the extra tools he has on hand. The picture of all the tractors together makes them look "very pretty" -- you can tell Cliff a city girl wrote that . . . I can probably hear him laugh here in the city.

Steiner Tractor Customer Service said...

I found your blog because of tractors (I work for Steiner Tractor Parts and I have google alerts set up for a number of "tractor words". Fell in love with it and read it regularly, though this is my first time commenting. :) I saw this on www.mytractorforum.com in a signature of one of the members. I find that it fits most of our customers (collectors/restorers just like Cliff). Tractorobsessiosis:
(trăk´ter-ŏb-sĕs-ē-ō´-sǐs) n. Quasi-common disease affecting males.
Chronic in nature and highly contagious. Females usually immune.
Latent in infant and juvenile males;becomes symptomatic within
three decades. Major symptoms: tunnel vision, narrow-mindedness,
affection for one specific color; aggressiveness toward other colors. Minor symptoms: dirty fingernails, flat wallet, weekend domestic absence.
Not known to be fatal. Treatment: none known, none wanted