Not everyone can see a torn-apart tractor lost among the bushes as a treasure. But to the Iowa State University Antique Tractor Club, that is just what members look for. This past school year, the club of about 20 members took on the challenge of restoring a 1946 Minneapolis Moline ZTU that was found on a farm near Stanhope, Iowa.
"One of the best highlights of any restoration project is to be able to see and hear the engine start for the first time," says Jeff Schott of Reinbeck, who is club president and a junior in agriculture systems technology. "The finished product is always an achievement as well."
The club spent about 100 hours working on the tractor. Members devoted every Wednesday night during the fall 2010 semester and Wednesday and Thursday nights last spring semester to the project.
Proceeds from auction will go toward funding next year's restoration
The Minneapolis Moline Collectors Association (MMCA) was a major contributor to the project, supplying a $1,000 grant to help with restoration costs. An MMCA member was able to supply many of the parts they needed overcoming one of the biggest obstacles they faced.
Neale Cloyd, a retired John Deere dealership owner, has allowed the club to use his shop for the past two years. "Not only is he kind enough to allow us to use his shop, but he also is a great resource for tractor knowledge due to his experience in restoring tractors," says Schott.
The tractor will be auctioned off Aug. 13 at 5 p.m. at a banquet held in Platte City, Mo. during the MMCA Show. The proceeds from the auction will go toward funding for next year's restoration of a Farmall H tractor. Wade Miller, professor and interim chair of the ISU agricultural education and studies department, is the adviser for the club.