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Back When: 1952 Case VAS

10 Sep 2023
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In June of 2002, Harley Rath’s son Clifford told him about a 1952 Case VAS that was for sale. The VAS is a Model V Case high clearance row crop with offset front. A VAS is a very rare find since only 1,559 were produced and not many have survived. 

Harley went to see the VAS and he could tell right away that it needed new tires, lights, steering wheel and a seat. The paint was nearly non-existent and the steering was stiff, yet Harley could see the value of this tractor in spite of all of its rough points. He purchased the VAS for $300 and used his flatbed truck to haul it home to Mossley, Ontario, Canada.

A thorough inspection of the VAS revealed that it would take more than surface solutions to put the tractor back into prime condition. The tractor’s wiring and gauges were replaced, along with the needed repairs that Harley observed prior to purchasing the VAS. His grandson Joshua Mitchell helped Harley work on all of the items that needed to be replaced and repaired. 

One of the tractor’s axles was broken and a new one had to be ordered from another antique tractor collector in South Carolina. Shipping through U.S. and Canadian customs proved to be such a slow process; that it took over three months for the axle to arrive. When it finally did arrive, Clifford helped his father put the VAS back together.

The Case now has a flawless paint job, and after replacing the decals, it was hard to tell that it wasn’t a new tractor. Harley spent about eighteen months and approximately $1,200 to complete the transformation. Although there was a lot of work done on the VAS, a lot of fun was also had during the process of putting it back into operating condition.

Wilson Thompson of London, Ontario, Canada, had purchased the VAS new from W Ellery and Son Implement in Ingersoll, Ontario. Mr. Thompson used the VAS for lawn mowing.

The VAS has many features that make it  unique from the other Case Model V series tractors produced from 1951 through 1954. The VAS has a 69.5” wheelbase, 24.25” front axle clearance, and 23.75” clearance under the rear axle. An Eagle hitch with hydraulic lift, electric starter, and a light were standard on the VAS.

Optional equipment on Harley’s VAS include a PTO, belt pulley, an idler attachment, and a low cost fuel engine.

Several other antique tractors make up Harley’s collection: a Ford 8N, Case 2290, 600B, a 430 gas, a 430 diesel, a model D, and model S, a Cockshutt 30 and a Cockshutt 560.

Harley is the vice president of the Kettle Valley Pioneers Antique Tractor Club of Saint Thomas, Ontario, Canada. He has taken the VAS to several antique tractor shows and is looking forward to attending many more during the years ahead. 


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