Old Iron rolls on in Bono

By Keith Boles - bio | email feedback

BONO, AR (KAIT) - Some people collect buttons, some people collect antique clothing or cars and a very special group of people collect...old iron.

"Oh yeah I wouldn't get rid of this. It belongs to my dad and his dad we're just hoping to keep it in the family you know. It's the first one I ever drove."

Joe Christian keeps the family's first farm tractor tucked away in his farm shop near Cash, waiting for when it can be restored to it's former gray and red glory.

So what is the appeal of old iron? Is it the sound? The name?

Whatever it is it gets into the blood. Maybe it's hereditary. Go to any gathering of antique tractor collectors and you'll hear comments like this.

"I'm partial to the Allis - Chalmers,  partly because my dad raised me up with them."

"Got a pull type disk that my dad had."

"Dad brought it brand new."

"My dad actually got to stay home from school when they brought that tractor out that day."

The Bono Antique Tractor Club meets the First Monday of the Month at the Bono Community Center. From it's beginnings in March of 07 with 13 members they are up to 46 with nearly 150 restored or restorable tractors divided among the members.

They had a small sample on this Monday night for me to look at. Including my personal favorite type of tractor.

A 49 Ford 8N Tractor. This is the same kind we used on the farm when I was growing up. I'd like to find one to rebuild but I don't think the wife would let me.

Collecting and restoring old iron is a major hobby with many magazines and websites devoted to collectors. Prices on Ebay auctions can run into the thousands for an antique  tractor. And although their farming days may be over. These antiques don't sit around and rust.

Benny Martin is a "Farmall" man. "We rode in six Christmas Parades last year and we rode on one tractor drive this year."

Dennis Pankey likes big orange, "Allis-Chalmers" "We take them out in the fields and work them and play with them and put them in parades."

And like any old timer they do show their age. Loy Cloinger is slowly restoring his Farmall 450. Judging by the "before" pictures. He's come a long way. He had all the parts and sheet metal when he bought the tractor, a lot of it in boxes. It's a challenge he says.

"Putting it all together, hunting all the bolts and screws."

When the meeting broke up around 9 I persuaded a few members to stage an impromptu parade. Even under a cloud of mosquitoes and lit by headlights you can tell these pieces of old iron are treasured as much as gold.

The club meets the First Monday of the Month at the Bono Community Center at 8 p.m.

They do have a Facebook page   Bono Antique Tractor Club, and you can get more information by calling the President of the club Jim Baugh at 870-932-1489 or 870-761-6789.

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