PENFIELD – Antique tractor collector Everett Hauert refers to himself as a “traction nut” because of all the modifications he adds to his machines.
Hauert’s International 560 was displayed at Historic Farm Days in Penfield over the weekend. He repowered the 1958 tractor in 1980 with a combine engine. Then he put a turbo on it making it 120 horsepower while it was 60 new from the factory.
“In order to utilize that horsepower, I added the Elwood Manufacturing front wheel assist to it. I’ve got positive lock to the ground with good traction and I do my tillage with no weights,” Hauert explained.
Hauert farms 200 acres using his old tractors. The 75-year-old used to farm 750 acres but says it is time to retire and start traveling.
Mark Seimer was sitting nearby with his collection of 10 International tractors.
“When they get this old, they’re just mainly to look at,” Seimer said. “It’s like an old guy like me – I’m pretty to look at but you wouldn’t hire me to do any work.”
According to Seimer, no one gave him the classic tractors he just acquired them over the years. He plans to take his collection to the upcoming Half Century of Progress Show in Rantoul next month.
The smallest tractor in Seimer’s collection is a Super A and the oldest is a 1939 F-20. The newest is a 1957 450.
“I was always red but we farm with green now. How that happened I can’t explain but it is working out really well.”
This year’s Historic Farm Days, which runs through Sunday (July 14), features International Harvester tractors, equipment, trucks, garden tractors and other IH collectibles. The event also marked the 80th anniversary of the introduction of the Farmall H and M and the 40th anniversary of the 2+2 tractor and axial flow combine.
It is the 43rd year for the I&I Antique Tractor and Gas Engine Club which puts on the show each summer. The 2020 event will feature Minneapolis Moline along with the Prairie Gold Rush Summer Convention.
Next month’s Half Century of Progress show in Rantoul is the largest vintage working farm show and takes place Aug. 22-25 with parades and field demonstrations daily. Sanctioned tractor pulls are scheduled for Thursday, Friday and Saturday. More information can be found at www.halfcenturyofprogress.com or by calling 217-595-5000.