Kline’s tractor supply

By on June 18, 2014

If you drove past Paul Kline’s place at 1400 Brunnerville Road in Lititz last weekend you probably noticed the rainbow of tractors in the front lawn.

Five, long rows of tractors and farm equipment were neatly lined up and grouped by make and model.

Flashy McCormick red shone down one row, while bright John Deere green could be seen down another. Mixed in with the reds and greens were Minnesota-Moline yellows and the more down to earth grays of Ford and Case.

Small, lightweight lawn tractors were on display along with their bigger, heavier farm-tractor cousins. Most of the tractors on display were from the 1940s or earlier.

Paul Kline poses with one of his favorite tractors, a John Deere. (Photo by Merriell Moyer)

Paul Kline poses with one of his favorite tractors, a John Deere. (Photo by Merriell Moyer)

One tractor, a gleaming black McCormick-Deering Farmall, had a hand-written sign on it that declared: “My dad purchased this tractor new in October 1927, one month before I was born. It has been in the family ever since. The tractor is now 86 years old – Paul Kline.”

Kline, owner of 65 of the 120 tractors on display, organized the event.

Paul said, “We’ve held this tractor show here for thirteen years – this is the 13th show. It is a lot of work and a family affair, but we enjoy it.” Kline’s love of tractors is an extension of his love for farming. “I grew up on a farm, and after I spent some time away from it, I decided I wanted to come back. I’ve been farming since 1960. I still own our original, family farm.”

His tractor collection, however, didn’t get started until 1996.

“I had an old Farmall H then I sold it when I stopped farming for a few years,” Kline said. “At one point, I thought it would be nice to have the old tractor I used to own. That started it. Then I’d see another old tractor and I’d think, ‘That would be kind of neat to have,’ and it kept going like that.”

When asked if he had a favorite manufacturer, he paused a while before replying: “John Deere and Oliver would be my two special friends, I guess.”

All of the tractors Kline had on display are fully functional restorations.

“They are all restored. A lot of them don’t take a whole lot of work, but some do,” Kline said. “They have motor troubles sometimes. Carburetors that need cleaned out and stuff. They all run.”

All of the tractors on display were driven to show.

“About the only thing I don’t do is paint them,” Kline said. “I get them ready to paint, and then I take them to Stauffer Tractor, they do a great job. If I tried to do it myself it wouldn’t come out as nice.”

Kline said his greatest satisfaction in restoring old tractors is “making them look like new.” He used to show his tractors at local farm shows and fairs.

“I have about ten or twelve trophies for best tractor in show. I won trophies at Manheim, Ephrata, and the Elizabethtown Fair,” Kline said.

The biggest event Kline entered was the tractor show held at Rough and Tumble, The Engineer’s Historical Association, in Kinzers.

“I didn’t win anything there, though,” he said. “I did a lot of farm shows and tractor shows. I don’t anymore – I’m getting too old. This is possibly the last year I’m going to do this show.”

“It takes a lot of work to get everything set up and ready. It’ll be up to the family if they want to keep it going. I would like to keep it going, but I don’t know if anyone will take my place or not,” Kline said.

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