TOTM Half Century of Progress Norman tractor

Richard Norman will make the 170-mile trip from his home in Akron, Ind., to Rantoul for the Half Century of Progress show in this Farmall 560 diesel tractor, which gets about 12 miles to the gallon and averages about 20 miles per hour.

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Checking in with Rantoul Press Editor Dave Hinton ahead of the Half Century of Progress show, the biannual event that visits the Rantoul National Aviation Center on Aug. 22-25:

Next week, Richard Norman will point his Farmall 560 southwest from his home in Akron, Ind., and drive the approximately 170 miles to Rantoul.

The diesel tractor gets about 12 miles per gallon.

“The driver,” said the retired farmer, 65, “gets about 100 miles to a can of Pringles.”

Norman figures the trip from his farm about 100 miles north of Indianapolis will take about 10 hours.

“It’s a slower pace to see the country. There’s more time to look around. You see some antique machinery behind a barn. You look at the crops,” said Norman, who tools along the mostly country roads at about 20 mph.

He has logged about 3,000 miles on the Farmall, traveling to farm shows as far away as Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

Norman’s 560, built in 1959, is named the Redneck Cruiser and features red, white and blue wheels, with flags honoring the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines.

“It came from a dairy farm,” he said. “I’ve been through the engine and done some work to it. It’s not a perfect paint job. I had a school teacher who paints tractors paint it in the summer of 2017.”

Besides a large canopy to keep the sun (and sometimes the rain) off, there is a camera for backing up, bike speedometer to monitor speed, GPS to tell him where to turn, and a belt-driven air compressor for the air-ride seat and other air needs such as low tires.

The tractor is also equipped with a snack tray — to hold his Pringles.