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Looking for Dad's Rare Custom Built 4WD Tractor
Jun 16, 2014
Kenny Becker of Truman, MN built it 50 years ago. Where is it today?
That is the question and the quest Kenny's sons Steve and Ross Becker are on today. They are looking for "Old Blue"...the affectionate family name given the custom built 4WD articulating tractor Kenny Becker built back in 1964 out of (2) old Allis Chalmers tractors (B's?) and a Detroit 3-71 engine. See a picture of the tractor above, rolling in the 1965 "Truman Days" parade.
* Listen to Pete Talk about this Tractor (click below) Today on "AgriTalk" Radio Show
Back up those facts a sec folks and chew on this a bit...1964, a custom built 4WD articulating tractor. How many large articulating 4WD tractors were there 50 years ago? Any yet? So this tractor holds not only a special place in the Becker family farming history, but also in the development of large modern tractors to power American agriculture forward back in the day.
Steve Becker of Minnetonka, MN reached out to me for help in finding "Old Blue".
"It was used for only one or two years before Dad decided it wasn't big enough for what he wanted to do, so he started gathering parts to build Old Blue#2 over the winter of 1966/1967," said Becker. "Once #2 was field ready by spring of 1967, he sold Old Blue #1 to Truman Barduson, an army friend who farmed near Appleton, MN, so my brother who was born in 1965 has no memory of it and I was born in the mid 70's so never saw it other than the pictures and only heard stories about it from Dad."
"Old Blue #2 we still keep on the farm field ready even though it hasn't done any real field work since 2000/2001." Here's a pic of "Old Blue #2"
Steve Becker tells more on the history of "Old Blue #1"......"Truman remembers selling it or seeing it at an auction in the late 70's or 80's. It was at one point owned by Chris Laumb (Montevideo/Appleton) (dates unknown, maybe '90s?) My Dad always regretted ever selling it so we tried to find it with Truman Barduson in the early 90's but couldn't find any leads. Chris Laumb passed away 10 years ago or so, Truman Barduson is still alive but I believe has been in poor health for the last few years.
Steve thinks Chris Laumb had an auction in the 1990's and probably sold "Old Blue #1" on that sale.
"My brother and I tried again around 1999/2000 to 'get it back home' for dad to work on in retirement, but still couldn't find anything. Although dad passed away in 2002, and it's now going on 12 years, we've continued to have the dream of finding it and if luck has it right, still manage to get 'Old Blue' back home, or at the very least, learn more about the history of it since it left our farm in 1967 and connect our story of it's beginnings with whoever may have it now, or at least see it since it was sold before either of us were around know it.
"I actually have the original sketches/blue prints in my possession too, which may be of interest to other people to see who have been around the tractor through the 70's, 80', and to wherever it is now.
"Thank you again, we are so grateful to have some help in the search."
If anyone has any info on or memories of this custom built 1964 4WD articulating tractor "Old Blue #1" that was built by Kenny Becker of Truman, MN and eventually found its way up to the Appleton and/or Montevideo, MN area in the 1980's and 1990's, drop me an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Let's help Steve and Ross Becker find the amazing tractor their dad Kenny built 50 years ago.