Tractors a life-long passion
KINGSLEY – Tractors, especially the old ones, Duane Junck said, have been a part of his life for a long time.
And while his inventory of motorized classics, once used to till ground and plant crops has diminished considerably – he auctioned 60 of them last July – he continues “to putter with” and to enjoy several of his favorites.
Junck said he sold the tractors because of several health issues and to let someone else “have the fun of playing with them.”
One of those sold went for $13,500, bought by its original owner in Missouri, from whom Junck had purchased the tractor.
Junck smiled as he walked over to a 1914 Wallis Cub housed in one of the machine sheds on his farm near Kingsley in southeast Plymouth County.
“I remembered having seen it as a little kid, but I never knew what happened to it,” he said explaining how he later located the Cub and had the opportunity to buy it.
“It took me nearly two years to get it up and running. I had to make the parts, couldn’t get them anymore.”
He said the machine is gaining recognition at various tractor shows throughout the area and adjacent states. He said it’s destined to make the show circuit again this season.
A unique feature is a front-end tool box, Junck said.
Unlike others in his collection, it’s not one to make the parade routes due to its maximum 2-mile-per-hour speed.
Pat Junck said she shares her husband’s love of antique tractors. She said she can’t “tool this or that,’ but “I think I’m a good listener when Duane and others are talking about what they’re doing and have been able to answer an occasional question from someone needing a bit of extra information.”
Pat Junck provides photo documentation of the tractors and participates in parade and at show events.
She joins her husband at the levers of a 1947 Oliver Crawler with a track system purchased by her husband five years ago.
They explained it’s still in a restoration stage because the laborious process requires hand-crafting parts that are no longer available.
“I liked the tractor and decided to keep it after the sale,” he said. The machine was made for farming steep farmland hills, Junck said, pointing out the hazard of operating an 8,800-pound tractor that could easily roll over.
Junck said his 1915 Moline Universal, purchased in Montana, also gets abundant attention at shows.
“It was the first tractor at the time to have a starter and lights,” Junck said, “but it cost too much money at the time, and the company went broke.”
The tractor’s “bend in the middle” articulation facilitated attaching various farm implements under, rather than behind, the tractor for field work.
The Juncks said one of their parade favorites is a Model T with a John Deere tractor motor.
“You should see the awesome looks we get from parade viewers on this one,” Junck said, explaining the unit’s design, a product of a young boy’s yearning “to tinker with this and that.”
Junck said as a 7-year-old, he’d put a motor on a couple of boards and made it run so he and his brother could ride on it.
During “the war years,” Junck said, he assisted his father, Fred Junck, in assembling boxed pieces of a combine. War time restrictions prohibited shipments of the assembled equipment.
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