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Two tractors, two years, too cool!

Linkers selected to be in Classic Farm Tractors calendar a second time

MALDEN — Many may remember the story about the restored 1935 Case Model CC antique tractor, owned by the Linker family of Malden, and selected to be featured in this year’s edition of the Classic Farm Tractors calendar.

The tractor was deemed a rarity because of its’ uncommon orange color and the unique family ties of Gerald and Joyce Linker.

Their son, Steve, restored the popular piece, which was displayed at many tractor shows — both locally and nationally.

Steve has, again, restored another rarity in the family — a 1919 Russell tractor.

It has been selected for the 2015 edition of the Classic Farm Tractor calendar.

Being selected for John Harvey’s calendar once is quite the honor, but being selected twice, in back-to-back years, goes above and beyond.

“To have two tractors in the calendar, you have to have a pretty good story,” Steve said. “It makes me feel proud, good and happy. Plus Mom and Dad are happy with both tractors. I don’t think there is another family in the country who can recreate what we have here.”

The antique Russell is a rarity because of it’s size, said Steve. Many Russell tractors were built bigger, but the Linkers have held onto a smaller version of the Russell.

“There isn’t another one like it in the county,” Steve said.

The tractor doesn’t have quite the unique background as the Linker’s Case tractor, but it’s still one worth to tell. The tractor’s original manual shows it was manufactured in Ohio.

“Most likely this model was built right after horses were being used for farming. After steam engines, this is the sort of model they went to,” Steve explained.

The tractor had one owner before the Linker family claimed ownership. Gerald’s father purchased the tractor from that owner in 1969, knowing it had hardly been used and was such a rare piece of equipment.

The tractor has sat on Joyce and Gerald’s Malden property for sometime. When the film crews from the Classic Tractor Calendar came to interview the family about their Case tractor, they also showed great interest in the Russell tractor and even did some filming on it then, as well.

Steve admits it didn’t take as long to restore as it did the Case tractor. He started in October and had just applied the last coat of paint last week.

Deciding to restore the tractor was a bit of a battle in the Linker family. While Joyce was a big proponent in having it restored, Gerald was against the idea for many years.
In talking with him, he said the old look of the tractor made it unique, and he really enjoyed the look.

“I guess I’m just old fashion,” he said. “But it’s turned out to look beautiful.”

So what changed his mind after all the years? He’s quick to admit he finally gave in to his wife.

The Linkers had the opportunity this past weekend to take their two restored tractors to the I & I Antique Tractor Show in Penfield, Ill. The show was hosted in honor of John Harvey’s 25 years of the Classic Farm Tractors calendar. Every tractor displayed in the calendar throughout the 25 years was invited to the show.

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