People come from all over to visit the Half Century of Progress Show in Rantoul, Ill., every other year. Held on what was once the Chanute Field air base and 300 surrounding acres, this show features all kinds of equipment from days gone by — some restored, some in working clothes. Many of the tractors pull implements in the field, and combines and corn pickers work in fields as well during the show. It’s held every year the Farm Progress Show is in Decatur, Ill.
Don Villwock made the trek from Edwardsport, Ind., to the show in 2019. He took his Farmall 806 along with him so others could see it. It’s one of many restored, antique tractors he houses in his antique tractor shed.
“This one is special because my father, Carl, bought it with a factory-installed cab,” Villwock says. “As far as we know, it was the first IH 806 with a factory-installed cab on a farm in the Midwest.”
International built 806 tractors from 1963 to 1967, most without cabs. In fact, tractordata.com describes it as a model with “an open operator station,” meaning without a cab. You could buy an IH 806 new in 1967 for just over $8,000.
FACTORY CAB: Don Villwock’s father, Carl, is believed to have owned the first International 806 with a factory-installed cab in the Midwest. The tractor is parked in front of an old hangar at what was once Chanute Field in Rantoul, Ill., now home of the Half Century of Progress Show.
Villwock does make allowances for at least one tractor in his collection that doesn’t bear the IH or Farmall insignia, but it’s still red. It’s a 1919 Moline Universal Model D, celebrating its 100th birthday this year. Villwock’s late father also would have turned 100 this year.
The Moline Universal came with a two-row cultivator. Villwock says his grandfather was one of the first in their township in Knox County to have one.
STILL RED! This Moline Universal may not be Farmall red, but because it’s red, Don Villwock allows it in his antique tractor shed.
According to wikipedia.org, the Moline Plow Co. sold the Moline Universal tractor from 1916 to 1923, after purchasing the rights from the Universal Tractor Co. of Columbus, Ohio. The implement gave it four wheels, forming an articulated design. The Model D featured a four-cylinder engine, used the Remy Governor Generator system, and came standard with a starter and lights.
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