Marshall Chronicle (Newspaper) - October 17, 1992, Marshall, Michigan
These ol' boys partial to their Oliver tractors
Ab AP Member Rxchange ' Hy CAROL rARRAND " Midland Daily Newx
[ MIDLAND. Mich (AP)
’ Anyone remotely familiar with ’ Michigan State University pnihahly knows, as the saying goes, thni every Spartan's blood rims green. The same could be said of Midlanders Dan Ointcr and A1 Hopkins, but for a slightly differcnl banon.
Ointcr and Hopkins are dichanl fans of Oliver tractors, a tyi>c of arm machinery that sports a iidemark green.
Although Oliver u actors and farm nachinery are no longer made, 3inier and Hopkins, friends for 25 ^ars, have made it their duty to Hstore aging equipment still in ¡circulation.
• “You can’t find these tractors áight down the street," Qinter said.
[ Tb find worthwhile projecta, the Jtwo rely on what they call the "ol’ network."
: “TTlil’s 0-1, not 0-1‘d,” Hopkins *8ald, laughing and going on to explain that a cloae-knit group of ^Oliver enthusiasts, known as the ;Hart-Parr Oliver Collectors* »Aiaociation, is a valuable resource *for locating parts and even complete ^tractors.
: Once located, each project is ^transported to Ointer's pole barn, ^here the pair will strip, clean, ^replace, mend, paint and polish for :the next few months, sometimes éWhlle listening to the radio and |other times while listening to the ^um of another Oliver for .Inspiration.
: Ai often as possible, they rely on Original pamphlets and other
promotional materials, which, Ihcidentally, also are hot collector’s items.
^ It’s a trying process that requires «more than mechanical know-how.
} **Wi don’t buy and sell for »profit,** Ointcr said. "We simiHsly pare«bout the tractors we’ve got”
; The interest in Oliver tractors Items from the company’s Reputation fm quality equipment. Winter says, “Olivers were a lot t ^further ahead than the competition, ” «The need to specialize in one manufacturer, however, has to do with common sense.
’‘Restoring an antique tractor can get a tittle expensive, especially when you consider you can |pend $60 to $90 on a gallon of paint,” Ointer said. “This way, we only have to buy a few types of paint, and can keep a lot of parts on the shelf."
Oliver, which sported the slogan “The finest in farm machinery,” was bought by White Motor Co. in I960. It was then unsuccessfully merged with two other companies,
1*69 now open south of Lansing
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Oov. John fingler snipped the ribbon to c^n the last leg of interstate I highway in Michigan on Thursday, ««id signed into law a key part of ihis “Build Michigan” road program.
The bills he signed will provide ,some $65 million annually to local t units of government to upgrade and |fnalntain their roads and modemixe jfhetr equipment
The Build Michigan progfam isvofved the sale of $2fX) million tin bonds to provide rncmey for road iind bridge repair and maintenance land create new jobs.
I fingler iipwd three bills in the »Build Michigan package as he 'Opened the last aectkm of Interstate ;69 southwest of Laming. It is the .'final leg of the interstate highway •ystem in Mkhigan.
*^e ate marking the end of one era - the completion of out country’s interstate system he^e in Michigan with the beginnmg of a new era the rebuilding of c/ur Male highways and roads/* Bngter mádkiprepmedfmmks.
C\»ckshutt Parm Equipment and Minneapolis Moline, and ceascil to exist in the IP70s.
However nicky the twilight years may have been, the company did make a mark in the industry by coining the word “tractor.“ in addition to building the first equipment plant and the first succe^ssful tractor.
For these reasons and others. Ointer and Hopkins admit they're partial, but only mildly so.
"1 really like all kinds of UticUirs,” Ointer said. "If I had enough money. I’d have a bamful of everything."
Some would argue that he does have a bamful of everything. His collection contains nine tractors, and is gnawing.
Just for the record, Ointer is the proud owner of a 1942, *47 and ’48 Oliver 60,1948 Oliver Standard 77, 1949 Oliver 99 four-cylinder, 1953
Oliver 66 adjustable wide and Oliver 77 diesel adjustable wide, 1954 Oliver Super 66 narrow front and a 1957 Oliver Super 44.
Several of the tractors have tended only one farm.
“My wife lays claim to this one now,’’ Ointer said as he stroked the Super 44. “When I got it the motor was in a box.’’ Of his 99 four-cylinder he says, ”Mechanically, it’s absolutely perfect You could put it to woft tomorrow.’’
Through Ointer’s interest. Hopkins began his own collection, which includes a 1942 Oliver 60 row. 1946 Oliver Cletrac HO and 1946 Oliver 60 Industrial.
Families included, the Ointer Hopkins duo show their collections each summer at antique tractor shows thmughout the MidwCvSt
“The shows are for the fun, pure and simple, and for meeting people.” Ointer said. “Why else would I get up early, load my tractors on a trailer that 1 had to pay $25,000 for. drive for hours, unload the tractors, show them one afternoon, load them up and go home?" he said, adding that sponsors of such shows are ^teful for dedicated participants, but most of the time can offer little in the form of reimbursement or fancy trophies. “Once we got a warm thank-you, a gallon of cider and a dozen doughnuts. That was the best pay I’ve ever gotten.”
And the payoff for the bng hours the two spend in Ointer's pole bam? Plain and simple; pride.
“It’s a perpetual hobby,’’ Hopkins said. "It can get undef your skin and ju.st keep growing."
His buddy cinildn’t agree more.
“It's relaxing to go in the bam, turn the lights on, the radio on, and Just spend time on the tractors. There i.sn’t anything 1 enjoy more than tliui."
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