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Former farmer makes 'Case' for antique tractors

August 29, 2004|by CANDICE BOSELY

martinsburg@herald-mail.com

SHARPSBURG - Ted Small is a lot of things, among them a former farmer and great-grandfather.

He's also a Case man.

With help from his wife, son and grandson, Small has restored numerous antique Case tractors. Five were on display Saturday at the 12th annual Washington County Antique Tractor & Craft Show at the Washington County Agricultural Education Center outside of Sharpsburg.

Case was the featured make during the tractor show, which also had tractors from Ford, John Deere, Farmall, Massey Ferguson, Allis Chalmers and others on display.

The event continues today.

Small, 65, of Chambersburg, Pa., farmed for 44 years using nothing but Case tractors.

"I didn't want to switch to anyone else," he said.

Small started a Holstein and Jersey cow dairy farm in 1957, after buying a new 1956 Case Model 300 Super Diesel. He scraped and saved to buy it for $4,600 and vowed never to sell it.

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"I wouldn't take twice that much today," he said. "Three times as much I wouldn't take."

Along with the five on display, Small has 11 more antique tractors at home, some of which are in various stages of restoration. They're all Cases, ranging in year from 1941 to 1968.

On display, Small had the diesel model, a 1944 Case Model D, a 1948 Model A, a 1948 Model SC and a more rare 1957 Model 300, which had a magnet stuck to its side that read, "Stay off my Case and I'll stay off yours."

Small just finished restoring the Model 300 two weeks ago. When he found it, it was under a bunch of trees and had turned green from sitting unused. Small and his family - including his wife Zandra, son Randy and grandson Greg - stripped the tractor, and replaced the engine, brakes and most other parts.

"We even had to rebuild the seat," Small said.

Although restoring antique tractors can be an expensive hobby, Small said he has not yet sold any of his restored models.

"I guess they get attached to me," he said.

Like Small, Duane Stahl bought his 1967 Case Model 530 new as well.

"I mow with it. I have a blade and stuff like that. I have a plow. A snowblower," said Stahl, of St. Thomas, Pa.

Although Stahl first bought the tractor to use on his father's 100-plus acre dairy farm, he said he's now a "hobby farmer."

The Model 530 is his only tractor.

"Women collect baskets. Men collect other toys," Stahl said. "This is my toy."




If you go


What: 12th annual Washington County Antique Tractor & Craft Show

When: Today, doors open at 9 a.m.

Where: Washington County Agricultural Education Center, 7313 Sharpsburg Pike (Md. 65), seven miles south of Hagerstown

Free admission and parking

Highlights for today include a kids' pedal pull at 1 p.m., a parade of tractors at 2 p.m. and a bake auction at 3 p.m.

For more information, call 301-739-7604 or go to www.wcatc.org.

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