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Wheelhorsestory

The Christmas Tractor (part 9)

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Before our second show would take place, I decided to discover what would be the oldest Wheel Horse ever made.  I noticed that at some point there was such a contest run by Toro. The winner was Walt Snyder in Oceola Indiana. He had a 1955 Ride-Away Senior.  Keep in mind that there wasn't Wheel Horse history recorded at this point.  I looked up Walt's telephone number and gave him a call. He told me how he entered the contest and won a brand new Toro Wheel Horse tractor. He always wanted one of these tractors and that is why he entered.  Unfortunately his garage caught fire and his new prize tractors melted down to the concrete floor.  Don't worry, he saved the RS-83. He told me how he obtained the RS-83.  It was being used by a contractor to grade a neighbor's driveway.

 

Walter did not want to sell is contest winning tractor, but told me he had an older Wheel Horse that he had in the barn and he didn't want it..  It still ran and he wanted $500 for it. Now, I began thinking....  if he won the contest for the oldest Wheel Horse, how could he have an even older one. I decided to make the 18 hour drive from Connecticut to Oceola. Denise and I and our two daughters who were five and six years old at the time made the journey. At about eight hours into the trip, we made another rest stop somewhere in north-central Pennsylvania. As I was walking into the rest room, who do you think I bumped right in to (literally)?  It was Don and Cindy Kane!  What are the chances of that?  probably a zillion to one.  After a very long drive, my heart began pumping as we arrived at Walt's house. After we visited for a while, he took me out behind his out-building. Talk about a barn find! Sitting there with one flat tire and adorned in rust was the most unusual tractor I ever saw.  He started it up, and it ran like new.  I drove it around the yard with the flat tire and didn't seem to make any difference at all.  I loaded the tractor and strapped her down for the long journey home.  Later I learned from Mr. Pond upon his first visit to my home that this tractor was a 1947 Pond Garden Tractor with lever steering.  I'll never forget mentioning the term "tiller steering" that was a word that was thrown around at the first show. He was adamant that it was not designed as tiller steering.  The restored tractor is pictured in my book.

 

In the next installment of this story, I will explain how I met Cecil Pond.

 

Merry Christmas,

 

Michael Martino

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Lovin the story Micheal ,

Forgive me, but i dont know who Don & cindy Kane are ?

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Still have that ol' lever steer Mike?   :scratchead:

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Michael, very interesting story.   Neil, take a look at the WheelHorseCC.Com site for a hint!

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