The May/June 2018 issue of Antique Power magazine will be available in subscriber mailboxes and on newsstands soon. Our latest cover tractor is a 1970 Massey-Ferguson 175 diesel, which is owned by Gene Battiest of Colcord, Oklahoma. This tractor's restoration was made possible by the teamwork of several Colcord High School students and their instructor.
Taming the Red Giant
Gene Battiest helped local students gain hands-on experience restoring his 1970 Massey-Ferguson Model 175.
by Karen O'Brien, photos by Al Rogers
In Colcord, Oklahoma, the Colcord High School Agricultural Power and Technology class, led by instructor Josh Gilstrap, teamed up with the school’s Future Farmers of America (FFA) chapter to restore a Massey-Ferguson Model 135. The experience left the students well prepared to take on their next project, a workhorse Massey-Ferguson Model 175 that had spent its operating life on a local farm.
Gene Battiest acquired the tractor when he bought his farm from longtime family friends, Kyle and Evelyn Brown. The Browns ran a dairy farm for 50 years, and Battiest bought their cows when the couple retired from dairy farming. He then bought the farm after the Browns passed away.
“Kyle really took care of his machines,” said Battiest. “He had other tractors, including an International Harvester Model 674 and a Massey-Ferguson Model 383, but I think the 175 was his favorite.”
The M-F looked very shabby when Battiest brought the tractor home. Although Battiest always knew that he would have the tractor restored, the 175 sat for five years before he turned it over to Gilstrap and the students at Colcord High School.
“The 175 is the second tractor that we have gone through this year,” Gilstrap said. “The Massey-Ferguson 135 was donated to the FFA chapter. We exhibited it at both the county and state fairs where it placed first in the refurbished farm equipment division. We sold raffle tickets on the 135 to fund future restoration projects and awarded the tractor to the winner at our annual FFA banquet.”
“The coolest thing about doing this is that my students get hands-on work.” Gilstrap said. “I have always been around tractors and once had my own dealership. This is my sixth year teaching agriculture. The high school only has 200 students. We had 40 kids to start the restoration program, and we are now up to 85."
To read more about the story of our cover photo, pick up a copy of the May/June 2018 of Antique Power magazine!
Other articles in this issue include:
- On, Wisconsin! - The Pierce family restored a 1919 Wisconsin tractor to help honor the McFarlane Mfg. Co.’s 100th anniversary. (by Chad Elmore)
- A Deere in Yellow - Jim Becker’s 1938 John Deere Model BI is a low-production industrial tractor with some unique features. (by Candace Brown)
- From Muck to Eternity - International Harvester built the McCormick-Deering Super WDR-9 to handle the difficult, muddy conditions of rice fields. (by Tyler Buchheit, photos by Bill Struth)
- An English Rose - Bill Patterson remembers his days working for David Brown and shares his 1940 Model VAK1 tractor. (by Rick Mannen, photos by Carrie Nickerson)
- Canada Connection: The Third Eastern Canada Tractor Demonstration (by Rick Mannen)
- Gallery: 1974 Massey-Ferguson 135 (by Brad Bowling)
- Letter from the Editor: One Hundred Years of "Masseys" (by Rick Mannen)
- Letters to the Editor
- Of Grease & Chaff: Will Work for Food (by Ted Kalvitis)
- Photos from the Attic: IH 15-30 (by Gerald Haight)
- Tech Tips: Crankshaft End Play (by Ted Kalvitis, photos by Emily Erekaife)
- Tractor Show: Readers show off their favorites