Crank It Up

Oliver tractors to descend
on Madison for national show

Organizers expect up to 300 tractors
to be on display at event

(June 2017) – Richard Cart has worked diligently for four years to achieve a goal to have Madison, Ind., be the host city for the inaugural Hart-Parr Oliver Collectors Association National Summer Show to be held south of I-70. His hard work has paid off, and the show will be held at the Jefferson County (Ind.) Fairgrounds on June 22-24. His work is not yet over. Now he has several of his own tractors to get ready for the show on top of the work needed to organize the show.

Hart-Parr Oliver Tractor
Collectors Show

• June 22-24 at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds, Hwy. 256, Madison, Ind.

Thursday, June 22
• 9 a.m.: Gates open until 6 p.m.
• 10 a.m.: Madison Trolley tour of Madison
• Reception, Vendors

Friday, June 23
• 9 a.m.: Gates open
• 10 a.m.: Tour of Lanier Mansion and Lanthier Winery
• 1 p.m.: Tractor ride through downtown Madison
• Antique Tractor Pull in evening TBA
• Vendors

Saturday, June 24
• 9 a.m.: Gates open until 5 p.m.
• 10 a.m.: Antique tractor and equipment consignment auction
• Toy show
• 6:30 p.m.: Banquet at Clifty Inn

• Information:
Call Richard Cart at (812) 871-6452 or visit: www.VisitMadison.org

“My work started four years ago in August,” said Cart, president of the local Ohio River Valley Oliver Collectors group, which is playing host to the national show. “We gave the presentation to the HPOCA National Executive Board at Platte City, Mo. A few weeks later, the Ohio Valley Oliver Collectors were approved to play host to the 2017 summer show in 2017.”
Cart operates Cart Antique Restoration. He owns and reconditions all makes of tractors, but his heart is with the Oliver brand. He is accustomed to hard work. He still farms part time and works full time at the Indiana-Kentucky Electric Corp’s Clifty Creek Power Plant in Madison.
The Ohio River Valley Oliver Collectors has 13 members, so it is a heady challenge to be hosting the national show. “This has never been below I-70 before,” Cart said proudly. “We expect 8,000 to 10,000 people, depending on the weather, maybe more.”
All models of tractors are allowed. Cart said he expects up to 300 tractors to arrive. Many will be Oliver Tractors, but all brands are welcome. There will also be plows, discs and cultivators, even smaller items like roto tillers.” 
Madison will be packed on the weekend of the show, he said. Cart has had calls from as far away as Canada, and most hotels have been booked since early April.

Photo by John Sheckler

Richard Cart poses with one of his many antique tractors. Cart’s efforts to bring the Hart-Parr Oliver Collectors Association National Show to Madison, Ind., has paid off.

“Some of the Olivers will come on trucks, like the Miss Madison hydroplane,” said Cart. The event starts with a tractor ride through downtown Madison at 1 p.m. Friday, June 23. Members will also take part in local tours over the weekend and a banquet on Saturday night.
Cart knows what to do to run a good show. He has been a member of HPOCA since 1989 and has attended nine summer shows and 11 winter shows as far away as Finger Lakes, N.Y., and Sacramento, Calif.
Oliver has been making tractors since the 1800s. They are also known for Hart-Parr Chill plows that were forged, then chilled to make them harder. Some plows were made in South Bend, Ind.
“They were known as the best plows ever made,” said Cart. “All the way through.”
The company had many firsts in its history. Oliver was first electric hydraulic and the first oil cooled. They also had the first four-wheel drive and in 1935 introduced the first 6-cylinder engine.
Oliver became Agco, and then was sold to White Farm Equipment. At one time, it was the biggest agricultural company in the world. The last one built in 1975 carried the brand name White Oliver.
“I grew up on Oliver No. 77 in 1949,” said Cart. “My son now has an Oliver 1950T.”

Photo by John Sheckler

Tom Sloan works on an antique tractor at Richard Cart’s barn in preparation for the upcoming National Show in Madison, Ind.

Cart has painted the first and last International Harvester models, a 1905 and a 1983. His backyard and barn is a kaleidoscope of tractors and colors. One unusual tractor color in the yard is a mist green Oliver 880.
“Only 252 were made,” said Cart. “There is a national registry that currently accounts for 54 of them still in existence. Farmers did not like the pastel color.”
Cart has a total of 17 tractors. Sitting in his yard waiting for reconditioning is a Rock Island 116. He reconditioned one of those earlier that now sits in the Rock Island Visitor Center in Illinois. Another striking tractor color at his barn is a yellow state highway tractor.
“There were 150 made for Ohio and Indiana,” Cart said. “I only know of two others. This one spent its entire life in Jackson County until I got it in 2006. It is an Oliver 550. I am sure there are more out there.”
One non-tractor item that will be shown at the summer show is memorabilia connected to a painting about farm life. It shows Lyle Dumont on a tractor with a hay rake. A dog runs in the foreground.

Photo by John Sheckler

Richard Cart reviews some publications promoting the upcoming event.

The painting is part of the lifetime collection of Lyle and Helen Dumont in the Floyd County Museum in Charles City, Iowa.
The 4x3.5-foot painting will be at the National Summer Show, along with smaller versions and other artifacts connected to the painting, including the actual tractor and hay rake in the picture.
The painting was originally a fundraiser and was reproduced on ash trays, pot holders, coaters, hot plates smaller paintings and on aprons. It is a quintessential image of American farming of the era and has been featured in national magazines.
The Oliver Museum in Sigourney, Iowa, has old records dating back to 1955 that show every Oliver Tractor – when it was built and when and where it was shipped. The museum also has 150 restored antique tractors kept under cover.
Tom Sloan from Kent, Ind., wanders amid the clutter of rakes, plows and tractors in the Cart barn. He is there to do some light work on one of the tractors and is almost lost in the jumble of farm equipment.  Sloan has an Oliver No. 66 from 1951.
“It belongs to my son,” he said. “I am finally getting him interested in old tractors. He bought two in the last year. My great uncle also has one.”

“I also have a Cub Ferguson and an Oliver,” Sloan added. “I just drive around the yard and between the sheds. I worked on old machinery and old tractors all my life. I like to take something that doesn’t run and make it run again. It is a satisfaction you get that most people don’t understand.”

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