Frank Paul of Moosomin, Saskatchewan, and his restored 55 Massey-Harris tractor were quietly waiting in the corner of a local gas station parking lot when I first noticed them. The tractor was idling smoothly as Paul scanned the nearby highway. He was waiting for the truck that would come and pick up his tractor. He had just sold it to a Manitoba Massey Ferguson dealer.
Remarkably, this was the first time the tractor would make its way back to a dealer since it was sold new in the mid 1950s. Paul recalled going to Regina to pick it up from an unloading facility along the CPR mainline. He drove it home to the family farm and it hasn’t been owned by anyone outside the family until now.
When its working life was over, the tractor sat unused for several years after it was no longer needed for farm work. But eventually Paul decided to restore it, and a cursory look over the finished product revealed he did a pretty respectable job.
“It was pretty rusty,” Paul said. To get the sheet metal ready for new paint, he found that an angle grinder with a wire brush attachment worked extremely well in removing all the surface rust and getting parts back to bare metal. And it did the job quickly.
It wasn’t hard to detect a little bit of remorse as Paul talked about selling the tractor. But with one 55 gone, he was already thinking about bringing another back to life. “I’ve been looking for another one,” he said. “There aren’t that many 55s around, though.”