CHARLES CITY | Only one of two known 1938 Case LH diesel tractors in the world was on display during the Cedar Valley Engine Club's 49th Annual Threshers Reunion in Charles City over the weekend.

"It's the only one in the Northern Hemisphere," said owner Don Livingston, Austin, Minnesota, noting the second one is in New Zealand.

Livingston said he grew up using Case tractors and started buying them when he was 14. About four years ago he asked a 90-year-old man who used to work for Case about the tractor's existence. He was told it was down the road from where they were and he was able to buy it.

Since then he's been taking it to different shows and tractor rides along with others in his Case collection.

"I've got about 50 Case tractors," he said. "There's a good rotation going."

Also included in Livingston's show rotation over the weekend was a 1971 Case 870.

"It's the best show around," he said about the thresher's reunion. "I've been coming here for years."

Case was the featured tractor this year, with part of the Northland Case Collectors participating.

Around 30 Case tractors were on display including a 1959 Case 800 diesel owned by Doug Kollmann, Ionia.

"I absolutely love Case tractors," Kollmann said, noting that he has three others. "As a joke I say it's my favorite four-letter word."

Kollmann said he has always liked Case tractors because they have an engine similar to an automatic transmission in a car and are durable.

"They're reliable and seem to last forever for me, anyway," he said. "I've never done any engine repairs in the years I've had it."

Kollmann said he bought the tractor from a neighbor in 1981.

He also has some Massey-Harris tractors for a total of seven antique tractors. He said they bring back good memories.

"I farmed with my dad for 30 years," Kollmann said. "We had a lot of good time together."

Don Zilm, Claremont, Minnesota and chairman of the Northland Case Collectors, has nearly 100 Case tractors. He's been collecting for around 35 years.

"They're not John Deere and they're not International," he said. "Everyone has those."

While Zilm has a large collection, he didn't have any on display at the thresher's reunion. Instead he took some of his tractors to a show in Rice County, Minnesota, which also featured Fordson tractors.

"My dad collected Fordson," he said. "I have 25 of them. I'm partial to both."

Zilm said he came down to the thresher's reunion on Monday anyway so he could pick up a trailer and check it out.

"It's a nice little show," he said noting that he's done 16 or 17 shows already this year with three or four left to go.

"I like the different stuff you see and the fellowship," Zilm said.

Next year's thresher's reunion will celebrate 50 years and feature Iowa-made tractors, according to Kollmann.


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