FIXER-UP­PER FEVER

One fam­ily trav­els far and wide for their Cock­shutt col­lec­tion.

Farm & Ranch Living - - TRACTOR TALK - BY DALE BONNIN

As a boy, my neigh­bor owned a Cock­shutt trac­tor. I liked how it looked and its his­tory, so as an adult, I chose to col­lect and re­store Cock­shutts.

My first restora­tion project was a Cock­shutt 30 I found in Steven’s Point, Wis­con­sin, in 2007. It was in good shape—the tin was great and the en­gine ran fine. My buddy helped me strip it down, and he painted the chas­sis. The trac­tor also came with a com­fort­able Joy Rider seat. The restora­tion went well, and I was hooked.

My next trac­tor was a Cock­shutt Golden Ea­gle that I found on the shores of Lake Win­nipeg in Canada. I made the trip up there with three friends. The folks who were selling the Ea­gle were re­ally nice and wouldn’t al­low us to pay them for the trac­tor un­til we came into their house to have pie and cof­fee.

Once home, I dis­cov­ered that the Ea­gle smoked when it ran, and the en­gine needed restor­ing. Thank­fully, I’m friends with a me­chanic and a ma­chin­ist, and to­gether we tore the en­gine apart and found a mess. The skirts on two pis­tons were gone, and we couldn’t lo­cate any re­place­ment parts. The sleeves were scored, and we called ev­ery cor­ner of the U.S., Canada and Eng­land to try to find new ones. We fi­nally sent the best sleeve to Los An­ge­les to have it re­pro­duced. That was quite an ex­pen­sive restora­tion.

By 2012, I had col­lected enough Cock­shutts to take a few to trac­tor shows. We took a Cock­shutt 20, the 30 and the Golden Ea­gle to a na­tional show in LaGrange, In­di­ana. In 2013, my wife, Kel­lie, and I at­tended a show in Fort Wayne, In­di­ana. At that show, we were re­cruited to join the In­ter­na­tional Cock­shutt Club’s board of di­rec­tors. That same year, we trav­eled to a Cock­shutt show in Athens, On­tario, with the en­tire fam­ily. We met Bill Cock­shutt, the great-nephew of James Cock­shutt, who in 1877 founded the com­pany in Brant­ford, On­tario, that grew into the Cock­shutt Farm Equip­ment Co.

My whole fam­ily has trac­tor fever. Kel­lie re­cently fell in love with a 1940 Cock­shutt 80 in Nashville, Ten­nessee. My daugh­ter, Ri­ley, drives the 20. Our lat­est Cock­shutt is a Golden Ar­row, and it’ll be ready for this sum­mer’s trac­tor shows.

The Bon­nins dis­play their Cock­shutt 40, 30 and 20 (from left) in front of their barn.

This 1940 Cock­shutt 80 gets a dust­ing of snow on the Bonnin’s Wis­con­sin farm.

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