Paul McCartney, a Boardman class of 1966 alumna, took to the Canfield Fairgrounds this year to share his interesting hobby. He restores and shows vintage tractors.
McCartney said he got his fascination with tractors from his childhood, growing up in Boardman.
"We had a Farmall tractor with a mower deck that was used to mow the lawn," he said.
Photo by J.T. Whitehouse, Town Crier
Paul McCartney, a Boardman graduate, starts his 1946 McCormick-Deering W-6 tractor following the final day of the Canfield Fair. He took the tractor back home to put it away until next year. It is one of three classic restored tractors that McCartney owns.
After graduation, McCartney got into the top soil business, which he has kept going for the past 40 years. He also has a farm now in Beaver Township where he raises cattle. Both professions require the use of tractors for the everyday operations. About 15 years ago, he started restoring old tractors and has since adopted it as his hobby.
At present, McCartney uses newer tractors for the workload in his business. He has three vintage tractors that he restored and takes to fairs throughout the summer finishing up at Canfield.
"I take my vintage tractors to fairs in Columbiana, Ashtabula, Carrolton, and then wrap up with the Canfield Fair," he said.
His vintage fleet includes a 1946 W-6 McCormick Deering, a 1946 Farmall BN, and a 1954 Farmall Super A. Each one has been restored to showroom perfection, which is a chore in itself, according to McCartney.
"There are some after-market parts still available, but the sheet metal is hard to find," he said. "One has to go to a bone yard and hope the part is there."
His W-6 McCormick Deering is a good example of what it takes to restore a vintage tractor.
With close to 300 hours in the restoration, which includes roughly $1,500 in paint, he said the tin parts of the tractor can be painted the same way a vintage car would be. It is the frame and engine block that requires a special paint.
"The tin uses regular paint and clear coat, just like a car," he said. "The frame requires a urethane paint, which can run as high as $1,000 per gallon."
McCartney has restored several tractors over the years and has sold a few. His present fleet will go into indoor storage over the winter months and will be back on the show circuit next spring. If he runs across the right vintage tractor before then, he made be adding another restored beauty to his fleet as he enjoys a hobby that preserves the machinery that kept the farms going in years gone by.