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Tractor Restoration Competition

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Team Name:
Ryder Merta
1973 / Oliver / 1365
El Campo High School
El Campo FFA
El Campo, TX
Tractor Details:
I was really excited to restore my great-grandpa’s 1973 Oliver 1365 as my senior year FFA project. I was warned by several people not to attempt to restore this tractor because it had a Fiat engine and the parts were hard to find and expensive. I soon found out that they were right. It was running when I got it; that was a big plus or so I thought. After completely disassembling the engine, I took the crank to be mangafluxed and that’s when the crack was discovered. Ouch! That was going to put a big dent into my budget. But, I didn’t let that deter me. I was on a mission to revive this piece of family history. During the restoration process, I also went completely through the transmission, final drives, ancillary and auxiliary systems—there wasn’t a part on this tractor that I didn’t touch. In 9 months, I was able to transform this dull, rusty machine into a shiny show tractor. I am proud to be the 4th generation Merta to drive this tractor. It is definitely a special family treasure!


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