Indiana Colt said:
Well I became a tool & die maker in 1969. I was an auto mechanic before that. I have a ham radio license since 1960. I enjoy making things, fixing things. I get more enjoyment in the challenge, than selling or scrapping it. I am retired and I don't need to do anything till warm weather. The tractor has been in a pole barn ever since I got it. It was inside a pole barn when I picked it up. It's to good to scrap. I have not ran or checked out the motor, or anything else. I hope this makes sense to you. I am not trying to be smart, just how I feel.
Everything you said above makes perfect sense to me.
The question is...will my response below, make perfect sense to you?
To be a top notch tool & die maker, mechanic or ham radio operator, one needs to be passionate and dedicated to the craft. If you agree with that statement, then you won't be offended by the following.
The Rancher 12 was the top model for Colt in 1965, so it was also the most expensive. On that issue, you are quite fortunate. It's similar to finding an old Cadillac to add to your GM collection that already has a Chev, Pontiac, Buick and Olds. As a former tool & die maker, you know that there is no such thing as half-ass measures. That's how I feel about restoration in general and in particular about restoration to any Colt or Case tractor built prior to 1977.
The Case tractors of this era are all painted Desert Sunset and one of the two reds (Power Red or Flambeau Red). You came here to learn more about the tractor you have and we are pleased to help you in any way we can. Your tractor was the brainchild of two brothers by the name of Johnson that developed the hydraulic drive tractor in concert with another local company and that led to patents being taken out.
That purportedly took place in or about 1962 and Colt Manufacturing was begun. The merits of the product were noticed by J.I. Case and in late 1964, Colt was purchased by the Case parent company, Tenneco. Colts were made in 1965 and 1966 under Case ownership along with Case garden tractor models but the success of both lines overwhelmed the production capabilities of the Winneconne plant.
The story is...Case had to make a business decision as to which line of tractors was the long-term plan. Obviously, the Case brand would triumph and it did. While Colts are not rare in the true sense of the word, those of us who are involved with Case tractors recognize and often revere the tractor that made what we enjoy today, possible. The long and the short of it comes down to this.
If a restoration is worth doing, then it's worth doing right. That old tractor has likely worked its butt off for more than one owner in the past. It deserves to be paid back for all that service. It deserves to be lovingly dismantled, painstakingly cleaned of all oil, grease, dirt, rust and paint until bare metal is reached. It is entitled to have worn out parts replaced, problem parts rebuilt, other problems repaired and then have all those parts painted carefully with the correct colors for that year.
You've seen the photos of what your tractor COULD look like once the above principles have been applied. If you do all of that, you will have something that will give you pride to show to others.
Now comes the warning. :sidelaugh:
More often than not, gentlemen such as yourself naively begin this process thinking that they will restore this one tractor and that will be the end of it. Sounds reasonable. Then someone who has seen your tractor will tell you that they are sure they spotted one like yours sitting next to a barn on Sideroad 10.
You will shrug and say..."that's nice" and leave it at that. However, over the next few days, that information will eat away at your brain. You will tell your dear wife that you need to go to the store to get something and then your vehicle will uncontrollably find itself driving along Sideroad 10, even though that's not the "as the Crow flies" route to the store.
Yes, you will spot that forlorn tractor laying exactly as described and exposed to the elements. A feeling of deep sadness will come over you along with a desire to give this old machine a pat on its rusty hood. Your vehicle door will open all by itself and your boots will pull you to the side of this tractor. That's when you discover it's a Super H Colt.
Your trespass did not go unnoticed and the farmhouse door will swing open. The lady will ask what you are doing and now you have to fumble for words to explain how you got to where you are standing. You will smile and utter something that will put her at ease and then ask her if her husband would be willing to part with this rusting hulk of metal. She will screw up her face because she now thinks that you fell on your head at the time of birth and is afraid of what you might do next.
She tells you to call her husband Jeb after 6 pm and gives you the number before scuttling back inside the house and locking the door behind her. You make that call later that night and the next day, you and a buddy arrive there to haul that Colt onto his trailer. Home it goes and the process begins once more. That's how it starts and as you find out more and more about the Colts, more and more of them arrive in that shed of yours. Sooner than later, that shed will get cleaned out, fixed up and then an addition will take place.
What I'm warning you about is a disease that cannot be found in any medical journal or publication that your MD has available. It is wise to involve your wife and contaminate her as well. Some women understand this disease because all they need to do is look at how many dresses, shoes, handbags, scarves, lipsticks and hats they own. Others are in denial by saying those items are not comparable. To a degree, they are right. All of those items are disposable and rapidly depreciate in value.
Your collection likely will not depreciate nor will it end up in the garbage or the GoodWill box down at the local plaza.
It's my belief that this site and the membership can provide you with all the help you need to carry out a proper and correct restoration no matter what the issue might be.....except for the cash and sweat equity. Those two things are where you come in.
So..... ponder my words. Hopefully, you will see the merit in my suggestions.