News from the Gentlemens' Club with the Kansas Farmer by Paul Nichol (Sept. 16, 2022)
Some of your readers may have seen the recent online Brindley Auction in Dungannon.
Truly a remarkable thing. Forty-five years of collecting. Literally hundreds of antique tractors, farm equipment and spare parts lovingly acquired and curated over the years. Being a good old Morris Township Ploughboy, I could not resist the temptation to look in on the offerings and see what was up for grabs.
I was immediately drawn to a 1952 Minneapolis-Moline Wide Front Model U tractor. In days growing up on the 6th of Morris, I heard time and time again about the day that my grandfather bought that very tractor at a dealership in Belmore and drove it all the way home to Brussels. In my farm family, we had this rather quaint habit of giving all of our tractors names like Fergie and JD. Well, “Minnie” was the prize of the pack.
My grandfather adored that tractor like a pampered child. Never let her spend a night outdoors. The first day I drove it, he told me “You’re a man now Son. You’ve driven old Minnie”. And that was a huge ego booster for a 13-year old.
But I digress. The bids on old Minnie were quite sluggish and modest. I brought the matter to the attention of my better half, trying to focus on the familial connection. She was somewhat lukewarm to where I was going. “If you bring any piece of crap home from that auction I will leave you!”
Fully aware of my wife’s taciturn position on the matter, I sought out second opinions. I broached the topic with my brother Hugh. He was typically thoughtful. “It would be wonderful to bring old Minnie back home where she belongs. And how ironic when your wife uses her to run you over,” he said.
I sought an impartial opinion from Rick Demaray, someone who I don’t like much, but he’s at least objective. He admitted that the Minneapolis-Moline was indeed a truly great deal. But he also suggested that so too was my wife. I could not argue with him, as anyone that knows Rick knows that he is always right.
But I still couldn’t help thinking if only she had 50 horsepower, a flywheel and a hand clutch!
The 1952 Minneapolis-Moline Wide Front Model U went to another buyer.
The Kansas Farmer.