Restoration Tips from the Pink Tractor Community

October is recognized as Breast Cancer Awareness month. Many of you in the Pink Tractor family have been touched directly or indirectly by this horrible disease. While many of us walk to raise awareness and funds, these ladies show their support with hours and hours of painstaking labor and talent to restore tractors. 

It doesn't matter if it's your first restoration project or twentieth, everyone could use a few tips and tricks to help them along the way. We wanted to share some tips for anyone that plans to take on this kind of project. Who better to ask than our loyal Pink Tractor community to share some of their tips? 

Pink is more than just a color to the Watson family. Heather Watson and her husband Jorden from Bristol, Virginia restored their 1958 Allis Chalmers D17 diesel in honor of Heather's mom who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2005. She is now 13 years cancer free and the restoration of their tractor "Pinky" is a symbol of the fight and survival.  

Heather's Restoration Tips: 

  • Don't skip steps 
  • Don't be afraid to make it different
  • Buy a shop manual for the one that you are restoring so you will have the specs and information that you need 

Before After

Kim Weinkauff from Wanatah, Indiana took great pride in restoring her 1960 John Deere 630. Below are photos of the tractor before restoration, after it was sandblasted, and the finished masterpiece. 

Kim's Restoration Tip: 

  • Patience is key! Always keep in mind that this is not an overnight project. The finished restoration is worth the wait! 


Tammy Starr of West Salem, Ohio had seen other pink tractors for sale and she could have bought one, but she was glad she didn't. She knew that restoring her 1947 John Deere M would end up being the most meaningful project to her. Everything she learned throughout the restoration and the initial finding her John Deere M would always have more meaning to her in the long run. 

Tammy's Restoration Tips: 

  • It's important to tear the tractor down completely. That's when you can evaluate what kind of shape everything is in. 
  • Take lots of pictures during the tear down, those come in handy when reassembling. 
  • Place all small parts (nuts and bolts) in plastic sandwich bags and label what part of the tractor they came from so you're not second guessing yourself on where things go. 


When Casey Opell was five years old she took a liking to a 1949 Massey-Harris 22 that was in her great uncle, Donnie's shed. Her father, Brent Opell decided to go ahead and buy the tractor for Casey. The restoration soon began with the help of her dad and her uncle Denny. 

In 2011 after the restoration had been completed, Casey and her father went to different shows to look at other restored tractors. Even though the restoration was complete, it didn't take much convincing from Casey for her dad to be on the hunt for the perfect shade of pink. Once all was said and done, Casey was so happy with the end result she had her eighth grade photos taken with her restored beauty. 

Casey's 4-H project which entailed replacing the pilot bushing or as the family called it "getting rid of the growl" on the tractor was entered in the 2018 Illinois State Fair this past August and Casey received an award of excellence for her work. 

The latest trip for the restored beauty was to the American Thresherman Association's 59th Steam, Gas & Threshing Show in Pinckneyville, Illinois where Casey proudly wore her exhibitor ribbon and displayed her Massey Harris. You could say she was tickled pink to be there. 


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