Cockshutt Tractor: A Beautiful Antique

Posted: 29th February 2012 by ToadHollowPhoto in Photography
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The number one way to get me to stop dead in my tracks is for me to catch a glimpse of the beautiful Mrs. Toad from across a room.  That’s followed by Corvettes, muscle cars, motorbikes and tractors.  In pretty much that order.

I grew up in your average middle class house.  My parents were incredible people who left me with an admiration for those who strive to do right, and a sense to follow my dreams and passions.  Every day I awake and thank them both for all their sacrifices and for teaching me the lessons they have left behind…  it’s what makes me who I am.

Now, with all that being said I really missed out on something as a little boy.  I always wanted a ride-on tractor.  Never got one.  As it turns out, as soon as you get to be over a certain height and weight, the option of riding around on one of these fabulous tractors becomes impossible.  Bummer.

All of this has left me with a truly unhealthy love for farm tractors.  I can literally sense them from miles away and am attracted to them like the proverbial fly to the light.

Cockshutt Tractor - Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Cockshutt Tractor - Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

On a chilly day driving home from a family Thanksgiving get-together we came across this antique beauty.  After letting the smoke clear from pounding on the brakes, we set out to capture a short series of shots.

In the late 1800’s James Cockshutt opened shop.  Originally the company intended to produce farming implements of the highest quality and over time became one of the most successful companies in this market.  Due to prudent management practices and a superior product, they managed to weather the financial storm that came with the Great Depression.  In the early 40’s as things improved and the need for great farming utensils came back to the forefront as the rebuilding process was underway, the Cockshutt Plow Company set out to design and build their first powered farming tools.  Many of these early tractors are still in service today.

Cockshutt Tractor - Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Cockshutt Tractor - Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Our research shows that today these tractors are highly sought after by collectors.  Entire websites are dedicated to the company and the equipment they manufactured; if you’re interested in the details behind this story, this site has a great history page.

This particular tractor has the best color combination and most beautiful lines I’ve seen on a tractor in many a year.  Sure, she’s got a few dents and dings, and the paint has smatterings of grime on it, but I’ll bet she flashes right up.  It’s pretty easy to imagine me riding down our street on this baby waving my hat in the air and shouting “Woohoo!!” at the very top of my Toady lungs.

Cockshutt Tractor - Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Cockshutt Tractor - Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

This is simply awesome.  It beckons to me.  Sure, the fenders are far from new, but you have to admit they are full of great character.  Each mark, each dent, tells a story.

Cockshutt Tractor - Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Cockshutt Tractor - Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

What a fabulous instrument cluster.  As with most active farming equipment, these units focus on function more than form.  Through this singular focus comes character.

Cockshutt Tractor - Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Cockshutt Tractor - Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

How many times has this tractor brought its farmer home after a long day in the fields, safe and sound?  No doubt as the years went by it became more than an implement, it became part of the family.  A tool to facilitate earning a living to care for a family and a trusted friend who can be counted on.

Cockshutt Tractor - Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Cockshutt Tractor - Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Each piece was carefully crafted to perform some form of a function, yet through this all a piece of art was brought to life.  It can be admired from any angle, no matter how you face the tractor there is something interesting to take in and enjoy.  At this point I’m not going to say “they sure don’t make them like they used to”, I’ll leave that up to you to decide.

Thanks very kindly for taking the time to visit us here at The Hollow today, we really appreciate it!  As always, we encourage everyone to leave us any comments you may have as we love to hear from all our visitors.



  1. avatar Len Saltiel says:

    Your love for tractors really comes through these images and write-up Toad. I love your way with words. Wonderful compositions, colors and textures.

    I’ve never had a “unhealthy love for farm tractors” but maybe I should have ;-o

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      I’ve never been inappropriate with a tractor, that I know of… I think my fascination borders on the healthy. LOL :) Thanks so much for your visit here today, Len, it’s always a huge highlight for me!

  2. avatar Jim Denham says:

    Toad, my dad would have loved that tractor – Awesome! Love the dents on the back fender!

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      Thanks so much, Jim, your friendship & support means an awful lot to us here my friend! It really was a spectacular piece, and I think we were lucky to come across it in our travels. Thanks for your visit, kind sir!

  3. avatar Renee Besta says:

    My, oh my, Toad, what a lovely blog post on this leap year day! I really enjoy your writing and personal touches, and the photos always add so much richness to your words. Tractors and farm equipment in general are always great subjects to photograph. As is anything old and historic. You always find so much time to share these wonderful gems with your readers, and we so appreciate it. Great job!

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      Gosh, thanks so very much there, Renee, we really appreciate all your kindness, friendship & support here! Really glad you had a chance to pop by and check this out, it was a great shoot that we enjoyed doing very much!

  4. avatar LensScaper says:

    Great series – looks like the guy who drove this wasn’t much good at reversing. Those wheel guards have had a few rear end skirmishes by the look of them! Seriously good images and your usual entertaining write up.

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      :D LOL! OK, that’s really funny Andy, thank you so much for popping by and entertaining us! What a great set of comments, my good friend, you truly brought a big smile to this broad, green and slightly warty face! Best wishes.

  5. Now that is a great old bit of kit. Love those old tractors, they remind me of growing up on a farm. The tractors we had were not quite that old but they were not far off.

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      OK, I’m pretty jealous there, Chris, how lucky were you?!? That’s just awesome. Thank you so much for your visit and most wonderful comments, my good sir, we truly appreciate it more than we can say!

  6. I love, love, love these tractors, Toad! The image of dented fenders is my favorite. The red-orange wouldn’t be as beautiful without all of those character building dings and twists. I wish you both all the best with your new site and all of your new adventures!

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      Your kind visit and words means so much to us, Barbara, you have no idea. We really appreciate all your friendship and support, we are lucky to have such a wonderful friend! :)

  7. avatar Adam Allegro says:

    What a truly beautiful tractor!! Wonderful writeup – Thanks for the history lesson!! I have never ridden on a tractor, but have always wanted to also! Fantastic post again my friend!

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      I see you share my tractor passion, there, Adam! :) Thanks so much for taking the time to pop by, and for leaving us your great comments here, my friend!

  8. avatar Curt Fleenor says:

    These are too cool Toad! Love the shot of the gauges through the out of focus steering wheel.

  9. avatar Dave DiCello says:

    What an amazing collection my friend! I love all the details you’ve captured! I’m with Curt, the one of the gauges is my favorite!

  10. What a wonderful series of shots. I’m a sucker for old tractors as well, and these images definitely do not disappoint.

  11. avatar A.Barlow says:

    Funny name, but cool shots Toad! Like the color allot.

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      Thanks Aaron, really glad you had a chance to pop by! We really appreciate you taking the time to visit and for leaving these comments!

  12. avatar Rich McPeek says:

    Great shots Toad! Gotta go with the 4th one with the gauges as my fav! Great dof there! Very cool work!

  13. avatar Jimi Jones says:

    Terrific post and images, Toad!
    love this old tractor. You really processed these shots to perfection.

  14. Great stuff as usual Toad! I agree on the DOF on the shot of the gauges – it’s outstanding work my friend!

  15. avatar Jim Nix says:

    awesome Toad and I love that shot of the dashboard!

  16. avatar Edith Levy says:

    See what happens when I go away for a few days…I miss all these great posts. Wonderful Toad. Now I have to admit I’m not a machinery or tractor enthusiast but you really know how to bring out the beauty of these machines in your photographs. Great job.

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      Thank you so, so much Edith, that really means a lot to us here! We really appreciate all your support, my friend!

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