DAYTON — Sometimes old tractors never die.
Instead of rusting away in a barn or field, some fall into the hands of collectors who, in many cases, carefully restore them to pristine condition.
A number of such machines were on display this summer at the Dayton All Wheels Weekend, where a selection of vintage tractors were parked among the hundreds of gleaming cars, trucks and other vehicles.
Among those on display were three belonging to the Eric Forsman family of Grangeville, Idaho.
Eric and his sons, Josh, Gabe, Caleb and Zach, along with other family members were proudly showing off a small part of the collection they have accumulated at their home.
Eric said that so far they have 41 tractors “between me and all my boys.” One of the oldest in the collection is a 1927 Caterpillar 2-ton tractor whose restoration can be viewed on YouTube under “1927 Caterpillar Two Ton Restoration.”
The machines on display in Dayton included a bright-red 1944 Massey Harris 101 Senior, a 1937 Farmall F20 and a 1936 Twin City KTA tractor restored to its burnt-orange original color. Forsman said this was the first show the family had taken a selection of their tractors to for display.
Forsman said his love of restoring old tractors grew out of “just growing up on a farm” and seeing the many vintage machines kept by their owners living in Idaho and elsewhere.
Along with a lot of elbow grease to grind off decades of grime and dirt, finding parts to restore the machines to working order involves “looking for parts high and low,” said Zach Forsman.
Eric said “sometimes you just run across them at somebody’s home” where the resident will say, “hey, I’ve got an old tractor just like that,” and other times it involves a lot of searching on the internet.
Like most farm tractors, the 1936 Twin City tractor was no speed demon, said Gabe Forsman. Powered by a four-cylinder engine, the machine had three forward speeds and one reverse gear.
“It’s top speed is about 5-6 mph,” he said.