Those that know the Case history will appreciate my title pun for part two. It’s still a catchy title none the less
My Case collection grew by number and tractor size in the last few years. I, for some reason, decided I needed to own more than one fullsize antique tractor and was starting to get away from just being a lawn & garden collector. My original plan was to buy a Farmall Cub, which to me was a tractor in both worlds.
A tractor friend, Tom Crawford, had passed away in 2015. He had owned a very extensive collection of all brands and sizes. Even though Dave and I originally went out to Tom’s farmstead seeking a Cub for my growing collection, Dave remembered there being a better little tractor that would be more suitable. He figured I would like the little orange tractor even more than owning a Farmall Cub.
Along a wall, covered in dust was a Case VAC. The tractor hadn’t seen much use. Dave remembered Tom would drive it now and then. Evidently he had plowed with it, because the wheels were set to track in a furrow. Dave was right! I did like the little Case and I struck a bargain to initiate ownership.
The little tractor recieved a brand new battery and constant fussing trying to get it running again. It ran long enough to drive onto a trailer for it’s short ride into town.
Modern gasoline isn’t real friendly on fuel systems built in 1950. I battled trying to get the little tractor to run right, changing fuel filters, blowing out the lines, and Dave showed me tricks to adjust the carburetor. My friend Kevin Periman finally solved my issues by rebuilding the carburetor all together. Finally the tractor ran like the little jewel expected.
I found out in a hurry the next spring that a Case VAC isn’t a wise choice for a tractor drive. They’re aren’t the quickest steppers and I held up the drive creating a large gap. The tractors behind me got off route and it was a little comical correcting the issue that morning. Since the tractor drive was passing through New Berlin, I quickly changed horses and used my H for the return, finishing the drive. I still get kidded for being the only known person to leave on a drive on one tractor and come back on an a entirely different one.
The 1951 VAC did clean up pretty nicely. Even with the discovery it wasn’t fast enough for a tractor drive it was suitable for parades and shows. The small size and lite weight made for an easy hauler.
I embarrassed myself during late summer last year at a tractor pull in West Alton, MO. A stock Case VAC is a little small on horse power and lite weight for a novice puller to attempt moving a sled. The ultimate goal is to actually move the sled…..I didn’t!
Earlier this year, I made a trade deal, with Jim Edwards, and gave up the little VAC. I was a little sad to last see the tractor go on the Mecum sale at the end of March. I almost bid on it to buy it back, but was afraid to ask Jim to haul it home for me again. I anticipated it may have cost me a tidy sum to have him transport it back for me.
I really need to learn browsing social media can get me into trouble. Finding a 1964 Case 830 for sale on a Facebook group last November, I was intrigued to research further. Owning a tractor manufactured the same year I was could be pretty cool.
Case tractors weren’t real popular in the region of IL I’m from so they’re not real familiar to me. I really like the looks of that model. The long sleek hood with the headlights and eagle on display out front. They’re just a stylish looking tractor to me. I also find them really interesting since the Case L&G series I collect are modeled after them. The seller Nate Reinhardt was actually nearby so on a whim I made an appointment to investigate the tractor for purchase.
Digger Dave and I were off on yet another adventure. He was involved with every other of my large tractor purchases, I couldn’t leave him out on this one. I honestly respect his insight anyway so he was definitely invited to consult.
We arrived at Nate’s and went into standard tractor buying strategy. While Dave distracted Nate I’d privately examine something and then so it wasn’t obvious we would switch and I would distract Nate so Dave could examine something. Nate and I negotiate and I came away with a pretty good deal.
There was only one problem to Dave and my somewhat heartless tactic. Case people are really great people. Money matters can get ruthless, in fact wars have started over money. I had already started to like Nate and beginning to consider him a friend. That happens alot with my Case dealings.
As it turned out, I really didn’t own the 830 for long. This project tractor was going to be to large a project for me to take on. I didn’t have the time and money to fix up the retired hay tractor. I was also being inticed on owning another red tractor. Jim Edwards and I were in negotiations for me to buy a 656. My red power family heritage was starting to shine through. I wonder if dad and grandpa were looking down from heaven shaking their heads and telling our great Creator to influence me to embrace the family philosophy again.
Three months later, I resold the tractor and it’s retired easy life becoming a show piece ended. A hobby farmer bought it and put her back to work. Dave was dispatched to transport the farmer’s purchase to its new home near Dietrich. Of course that created another road trip adventure for the two friends to take part in.
Case people really are great though. My friendship with Nate has been going on now, longer than my ownership of the tractor I bought from him. I’m actually gone full circle to being only a Case L&G guy again. I still come away with some pretty awsome new friends living out my story of increase.