March Featured Collector

How does a computer guy with a quarter century of experience who finds that he can’t get farming out of his system find happiness? Well, Randy Lukken followed his boyhood memories of growing up on a farm outside of Ponca, Nebraska. He first acquired his 1949 Farmall C (pictured above) to help his family cultivate a half-acre of potato crop. Working with his brothers, they were planting the “taters” with an old Super M that did not steer straight and true. Using the C you can raise either side of the cultivator, which was nice for cultivating the rows that weren’t straight.

Randy got his Farmall C (serial #51576) at a farm sale near Obert, NE (population 50 on the Nebraska border near Yankton, SD). After it was running good and looking clean (it had lots of oil and grease leaks), he had it painted and decaled. It looked so nice that he started taking it to small town parades. But his brothers thought it was a work tractor so he went out and bought a second C (serial # 51578) so they could have one to farm with, and Randy would have one to show. To keep the tractor as original as possible he has resisted the encouragement of his brothers to convert it to a 12 volt system so it will start easier. However, the family did convert the second C to 12 volts.

The Farmall C was produced from 1948 to 1951, when the “Super C” replaced it. Approximately 79,850 Farmall Model C tractors were manufactured. Driven by a 4-cylinder engine rated at 11.5 horsepower, it weighs 2,780 lbs. The C’s “Touch Control” system allows the operator to lower and raise implements by touching one small lever.

Randy has worked for Northern Natural Gas in Omaha as a computer analyst for the past 22 years. Besides tractoring, he plays a good game of golf, cheers on Nebraska football and follows the successes of his two-grownup sons. Randy, who is in his second year as a member of Elkhorn Valley Antique Power Assn., feel his involvement has given him an opportunity to meet and share with other restorers. His greatest enjoyment comes from seeing the smiles on people’s faces when they see and hear these old tractors. He tells of one parade where a young boy about 10 shouted, “Nice looking tractor, mister!” Randy figures he must have been a farm boy. Look for Randy and his good-looking Farmall C at a small-town parade around Iowa/Nebraska this summer because he’ll probably be there!!


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