“Tractor” Pilgrimage to Ohio

This is a definition I discovered… Pilgramage‘ is often used to describe an individual journey through life, sometimes as a general description of personal growth and exploration.  However, in an overall context, the journey is not always religious

Mecca’ a place regarded as a center for a specified group, activity, or interest.

These two words work well for this article. Ohio seems to be a mecca for me concerning lawn and garden tractors. I have made three pilgrimages to obtain tractors for my collection.

The first trip occurred in 2015. I found, via Ebay, a 1966 Case 150. Matt Kiesel, from Alvada, had the machine up for bid. The winning bid earned my Christmas present to me that year.

Not only did I acquire a nice add to my collection, I made another “tractor” friend. It was very enjoyable meeting and visiting with Matt. We still keep in touch through Facebook.

The second journey occurred last year. I had purchased a Shaw Du-all, on auction, that sparked my interest in that brand. Rob Bush had posted a picture of a beautiful restoration Du-all that was at a show in Portland, IN.

I had made comment on the picture how nice it was and hopefully my Du-all would be half that nice someday. Rob informed the R12T was for sale and put me in contact with the seller.

As I was east bound, to Thornville, I couldn’t help to wonder what kind of collection Joe Lofink would have. Shaw tractors aren’t that common. I felt fortunate to be purchasing such a nice one. Why would he be willing to let it go?

I wasn’t disappointed. Joe’s collection is amazing! I didn’t get to see everything, but what I did view was mind boggling. I’d like to go again someday and spend more time visiting.

1951 Shaw Du-all R12T

Tiller steer tractors are just something of a wonder to me. I have thought that since I saw one on display at the American Tractor Museum in Perryville, MO. I told myself I’d have one someday. Evidently, I needed to be more careful who else I shared this with. My spy network had their eyes open and my friend Steve Farmer found one for sale.

1951 Gibson D

Obviously, the tractor was in Ohio. Bob Julio from Spencer was selling a tractor that had been in his family since it was purchased new. Bob had done major overhaul work on the little tractor making it a great find.

I had learned two important lesson on my previous trip to Thornville. 1) one day marathon 1000 mile trips are long and tiring. 2) renting a trailer would be cheaper, on gas than dragging an empty trailer out bound. I also could rent an enclosed trailer for security and weather protection.

I can’t report the trip to be boring. I was chased by a weather front going. I dealt with rain, construction, and rude drivers, but it was well worth my time.

Bob Julio had a beautiful little slice of countryside and as usual I enjoyed a great visit and made another friend. Bob is currently restoring a 73 AMC Javelin. The car brought back memories of my youth. My mom and dad own two Javelin while I was growing up.

Bob gave me a little bit of a heart attack. He took one look, at the 5×8 trailer, saying “I hope the tractor fits in there” Funny Bob! You’re a millwright, you better know how to read a measuring stick! It was interesting loading a tractor with a 51 inch axle width through a 49 inch opening. It worked though! The door was the only issue, and not that big of a problem.

It ain’t got no steering wheel!

The Gibson is in Illinois, and a big hit for the people to see. I debuted the tractor in Bushnell on Memorial Day Weekend

Shaw Du-all and Gibson D on line at Bushnell photo by Nick Menke

Do I only get three chances to find treasures from Ohio? Only time will tell. Hopefully, the genie in the bottle has more wishes….from anywhere for that matter.

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