Back in the day, Edward Stockman remembers seeing new model 98 Massey-Ferguson tractors on dealers’ lots and dreaming of owning one. “I was kind of a Massey person and I had a fondness for them,” he says. But at the time the numbers didn’t pencil out. So owning one had to remain just a dream, at least for a while.
Now that his son Dean manages the family farm near Beechy, Sask., Stockman has some spare time and occupies it by restoring old tractors. While looking for a project about five years ago, an internet search turned up a 1960 Massey 98 for sale in Kansas. After making the deal and getting it home, Stockman was finally able to make the dream come true.
The tractor did need a little work. “I had a fellow in Moose Jaw overhaul the engine,” he says. “He’s a specialist in Detroits and he could do it as cheaply as I could buying parts at retail prices.” After completing the tractor’s full cosmetic and mechanical makeover, Edward has been spending time in the seat making the rebuilt engine perform at various antique tractor pull events across the Prairies.
But finding work for it on the family’s grain farm these days isn’t as easy as it would have been back in the ‘60s. “There’s not a lot of things a tractor of that horsepower (84 on the PTO) can work on anymore,” says Stockman. But the Stockmans have found a few jobs for it. “That machine pulls the lentil roller,” says his son Dean. “That gives it a good workout,” Stockman says. It handles a variety of other small chores around the yard as well.
Since Edward began restoring tractors in 2004, several machines have been through the farm workshop; many of them have been sold after completion. But it took about 45 years for Stockman to finally realize his dream of owning a 98, so it isn’t likely to go anywhere in the foreseeable future.
With the help of his family who keep a lookout for other prospective restoration projects, there are a few more tractors on the farm waiting for Stockman’s touch, among them are an Oliver 99 and Cockshutt 1900. “I do the dealing on the Internet,” says Dean. “Restoring is his thing.”
And Dean says since getting involved with the hobby they’ve learned a few things about how to pick the right candidate for a restoration. “We always go for something very unique with low production numbers,” he explains. That ensures the tractor will have a higher value than more common models, and there’ll be strong interest from collectors if they decide to sell it.
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Edward Stockman, along with his grandsons Kevin and Michael and farm dog Jackson put the 98 Massey to work in the family farmyard at Beechy, Sask.
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