Vintage tractor enthusiasts pull and swap stories at Calgary Stampede

Restoration and care of vintage of tractors is a labour of love for all those who keep their vintage tractors in tip-top shape.

Just ask Lloyd Michalyk, who is competing in the Calgary Stampede’s Vintage Tractor Pull.

“I haven’t got paid yet… if that is what you mean,” replies Michalyk.

A common answer from all of the competitors, you can also hear the excitement in their voices as they share stories about their tractors.

It should come as no surprise as they put hundreds of hours in restoring and fine-tuning these machines from our past.

Ross Dollin, who hails from Duchess, Alberta, is a heavy-duty mechanic who came over from Scotland about 12 years ago.

He gushes about his pride and joy.

“It’s a 1939 Case L this is only its second season, I restored it in the winter two years ago, it’s just a hair under 7,000 pounds,” says Dollin.

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These drivers are treasure hunters constantly on the look-out to acquire another one to

add to their collection, swinging deals left right and centre as Dollin attests.

“It was a lawn ornament, I bought it off a guy who saved it from scrap and I originally bought it to be a parts tractor, but it ended up being in such good condition that I actually restored it and ran it.”

Robyn Jones is a 17-year vet of the Calgary Stampede of the Vintage Tractor pull, he says he got hooked a long time ago.

“It’s a disease,” Jones says with a chuckle in his trendy John Deere suspenders in front of his 1959 John Deere 530. “I’ve got these tractors, that’s my only hobby and I farm with CASE tractors, like newer ones you know, but I’m just about done that I think.”

Robyn Jones pulling with his 1959 John Deere 530 in the Calgary Stampede’s Vintage Tractor Pull.

Mickalyk, just like the others, can talk for hours about his green machine.

“This is a 1960 John Deere 530, it fits just under the wire for the antique tractor pull as it is 1960 and older I’ve had it about five years. I bought it running, but I overhauled it and painted it up to what it is now.”

This year’s Vintage Tractor event celebrated the “Roaring 50s” a golden era where tractor technology and production really advanced.