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Penn. man restores great-grandfather’s tractor

Penn. man restores great-grandfather’s tractor

Mike Moatz rebought the 1948 John Deere tractor

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

A Maxatawny Township, Penn. man with a love for farming brought a family heirloom back home.

Mike Moatz, a woodshop worker at East Penn Manufacturing Co., remembers being 14-years-old the day a truck came to his great-grandfather’s farm in 1987 to take his 1948 John Deere tractor home to its new owner.

“I never thought I’d see it again,” he told the Reading Eagle from the Pennsylvania Farm Show where he displayed the tractor.

Sometime in 1997, Moatz set out to find the tractor and bring it back into the family’s life.

He found a bill of sale in some of his grandfather’s personal belongings. The receipt noted a farmer in Abbottstown, Adams County, as the buyer.

Whether or not the farmer still had the tractor was “a crapshoot,” Moatz said.

Moatz told the farmer about the tractor, how he remembered riding it as a child and how he wanted to purchase the tractor from him to restore it.

But the farmer still used the vintage Deere to mow grass and had no interest in selling it, the Reading Eagle reported.

The farmer eventually decided to sell the tractor back to Moatz, who spent years restoring it until he felt it was in good enough shape to enter it in an antique tractor show in 2007.

Moatz’s grandfather, Irvin, drove the tractor to the show.

“It never looked like that when I drove it,” Irvin told Moatz, the Reading Eagle reported.

Now that the tractor is back in the family’s possession, Moatz plans to keep it that way.

“As long as I’m alive, it’s not going anywhere,” he said. has reached out to Moatz for comment on the restoration project.

Mike Moatz and his son Jacob stand in front of the restored John Deere tractor.
Susan L. Angstadt/Reading Eagle photo


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