Ford 600
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Description: The beginning of our story starts around 1956. The Mayer family had a small farm in Washington, Missouri. Recently married Russel and Rosalie Mayer were in need of a tractor but did not have the funds for a large tractor. There was a local dealership called Washington Tractor where they sold Ford tractors. The Mayer couple had spotted the Ford 600 and knew that was the right tractor for their farm. After some short negotiation, they bought it, loaded it up, and took it home. The Ford 600 or as the family calls it “the little Ford” was the right size for the family. This is where the Ford 600’s story begins. It worked on the farm to run various equipment for Russel and his two sons Roscoe and Randy. After 61 years of hard work, the little Ford was finally put up in a barn where it would spend 3 long years. This is where the journey took a turn with the little Ford tractor, and a bigger change we could have imagined for it and ourselves. On the first day of school our Junior year we came from our sending school which is Warrenton High School in Warrenton, Missouri. We would spend 3 hours a day at Four Rivers Career Center in Washington, Missouri learning both hands on in the shop and from classroom materials about how to fix vehicles. One day we were asked to come into Mr. Brinkmann’s office. We thought the worst was about to happen even though we did not know what the worst was, he started talking about the Night Shift program. At that point our lives changed, and we did not even know it. On October 29, 2020 we got to see our 1956 Ford 600 which is still owned by the family that bought it new and that has contributed to the success of Night Shift over the years. We learned early on that the tractor had been purchased new off the line back in the day and kept in the family through the years. It is known as a heritage tractor. After learning the history behind the tractor, the restoration became so much more than a restoration to us. We talked as a group and made the decision that we wanted this tractor to be better than when it rolled off the factory line. Our evenings turned into nights of learning new skills and perfecting the ones we had. Every night was filled with learning something new. Not only did we learn from our instructor, but we learned from each other. As our year went by and we restored the tractor we slowly uncovered its history. Another piece of history we found was the blue paint from Roscoe. He repainted the tractor to make it look like the new Ford tractors they had around the farm. We also found all of the body filler under the paint from years of working. The months moved quickly as the tractor began to come together. We began to realize that being open to learning new lessons and skills was a big part of life and restoring a tractor for the first time. As we put finishing touches on the tractor we began to reflect on ourselves and learned a deeper appreciation for antique tractors. Our junior year came to a close and we had finished our restoration but we were not done yet. We still wanted to visit as many shows as possible to show people the work we are proud of. Even though we are moving on to bigger and better things, the little ford and its lessons will stay in our memories forever. Every good story has an ending but this story doesn’t end, it is just starting for the students that restored “the Little Ford” and we know it has changed as much as we did