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1948 Case thresher has never been used
"It's still in its original shipping condition and is a priceless antique. As far as I know there's not another one like it in the world," says Jerry Flicek, New Prague, Minn., who recently bought a 1948 Case thresher that was never used.
The thresher, bought brand new in 1948 by a local farmer, still has the lug wrench and pulleys wired to the outside just like when the manufacturer shipped it by rail to New Prague 45 years ago. Wooden blocks still hold the threshing blades in place, and a crate holds belts and other parts. Even the grain weigh scale has yet to be mounted.
Flicek doesn't ever intend to assemble the thresher or run even a single bundle of grain through it. "You run a bundle through it and it would be like all the others," says Flicek, who worked on a threshing crew at one time before entering the Air Force.
Flicek says he had known about the Case thresher for many years because friends interested in antique farm equipment frequently talked about it. "I couldn't believe it until I saw it. It's unreal to see a thresher still in its original shipping condition."
A farmer named Edward Novak ordered the thresher from a New Prague Case dealership in 1948 on condition that it arrive before harvest. However, the thresher wasn't delivered until after harvest, and the dealer got stuck with it. It cost $1,300 when purchased new. "It stayed with the implement dealer. Since the need for threshers was declining due to combines, and because that was the last year Case made threshers, the machine never got sold," says Flicek.
The longer the dealer kept the thresher, the more he became attached to it. He had several offers to buy the thresher, but never sold it. After he died, his son had an auction where Flicek bought the thresher, bidding against farm machinery collectors from across the U.S. He won't say how much he paid. Dave Preuhs, a past president with the Pioneer Power Association, says a similar used model would probably be valued at $100, but says this thresher's value is at least 50 times that. The thresher's permanent home is at the Pioneer Power Association's show site nearLeSueur, Minn.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Jerry Flicek, Box 63, New Prague, Minn. 56071 (ph 612 758-2746).

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1993 - Volume #17, Issue #1