After a quick visit to the Sequim High School campus Monday, June 6, a little tractor named Snort now is ready for its big debut on the national stage.
The tractor, a 1954 Farmall Super C, is the happy recipient of a restoration that required more than $4,000 in parts and almost 400 combined man-hours of labor by five members of
Sequim High’s chapter of FFA. Now the FFA is hoping Snort is good enough to bring home a national championship in tractor restoration.
Delo, Chevron’s premium oil subsidiary, sponsors the annual Tractor Restoration Contest, drawing contestants from across the country.
The FFA club didn’t know they were signing on for a big, expensive project when they first acquired the tractor. FFA sponsor Kristi Short sought and found the tractor simply to serve as a piece of landscape art at the school.
Ella Frick, who with her husband, Cy, owns Frick’s Healthcare, Medical Equipment and Photo, donated the tractor — which they had nicknamed “Snort” — and it was moved to the school. That started the FFA students thinking and soon they decided they would restore it and enter it into the national contest.
Sequim farmer Jim Bekkevar donated space, equipment and a great deal of expertise in support of the project, which took place at Bekkevar Farm. Bekkevar, an old hand at tractor restoration, recently said with a wry smile that, “If I‘d known it was gonna be like this, I’d a’ said keep it as art.”
The work included seeking out and purchasing parts from three different sources, putting in a new clutch and completely tearing apart the transmission and then rebuilding it.
Bekkevar said the local business community was very supportive, with Les Schwab providing the specialty tires at cost and NAPA and A-1 Auto Parts also lending a hand.
In the end, the Fricks were kind enough to offer to buy Snort back “to cover all the parts and a little something extra.”
Bekkevar said the FFA may end up selling it to the Fricks or Snort may just join the Bekkevar family’s fleet of 30 tractors.
Now that they’re done with the mechanical work, the students are creating a pile of paperwork. “They have to keep track of their hours, document what was done … and every penny spent,” Short said.
All of that information and more is filed in “a huge binder” that will serve as their official entry form.
They also will produce a two- to three-minute video on the project.
All of the materials will be considered by the judges, who will convene in September.
If the Sequim entry is chosen as one of the 10-12 finalists, the team members will travel to Indianapolis, Ind., to make their final pitch to the judges. That consists of a presentation, a demonstration of mechanical skills and a question-and-answer session.
The top prize is $5,000, with smaller prizes for other finalists. Any award received would be used to support FFA programs at the school.
Short said the students would like to gather details on the tractor’s history to include in their presentation.
Those who may be familiar with the tractor should contact Short at firstname.lastname@example.org with any information.