Do you know what’s so great about tractors built in 1992? There’s a wonderful simplicity to their mechanical construction. When dealing with the passenger cars of today, you have to tighten just about every screw with a precisely defined torque. With our Lindner 1700 A, which we did up as part of MANN-FILTER’s huge ‘For all vehicle lovers’ conversion campaign, however, more often than not it was just a case of: “Knock the metal pin straight in, secure with a splint, done.” Even the screws themselves are less fiddly, as they are so much bigger. But size doesn’t come without its challenges either: the various attachment parts for a tractor are, of course, much heavier than those for a car, which can have some painful consequences. For example, when we removed the front hitch and sandblasted away the old paint, we had to carry it a few metres across the hall to be repainted. I just felt a crack and then spent the next four or five days hobbling around, bent over at a strange angle. My back is back in action now though – and we have successfully completed our work on the tractor. Well, I say successfully – that’s actually a bit of an understatement. In my first blog post I already talked about our plans – now I will show you what our party tractor looks like in realtiy:
A masterly performance from the team
The machine that my team, Lina Van de Mars and I have given the makeover treatment to has become a real feast for the eyes. Naturally, the design is based around the typical MANN-FILTER colours – albeit in a particularly extravagant fashion. Plus, it’s even beautiful on the inside! All of the functions we thought up and built in are utterly awesome. As Lina so eloquently put it, it’s gone from a piece of agricultural equipment to a bona fide “party truck with some umph.” Truer words were never spoken – all you have to do is drive the tractor into a field and you’re ready to get the party started. Music is taken care of by a high-spec DJ console which we mounted behind the driver’s cab. The box with the beats is positioned under the roof, while the DJ sits pretty on a sofa which we secured to the rear three-point hydraulic system, getting them to their turntables at the touch of a button. Plus, an incredible lighting system ensures that the music has a fittingly spectacular visual accompaniment.
The driver’s cab itself no longer resembles the workplace of a farmer, either. Real wood, upholstery and Chesterfield-style furnishings all create a genuine lounge atmosphere. In the space previously occupied by the collapsible windscreen stands an extra large fold-out LCD screen, perfect for post-party film screenings or watching the football with friends on a Saturday. And let’s not forget the big front shovel! We’ve converted it into an XXL grill, big enough for an entire hog roast. To the left and right you will find two fridges so you can keep the salad fresh and the drinks chilled.
People were always asking me whether we would also tune up the engine. Actually, we consciously decided not to because it wouldn’t have made any sense. After all, who could possibly need more horsepower to enjoy our tractor? There was one adjustment that I just had to make though: We welded on a truly spectacular exhaust system for the Lindner in the style of American side pipes, giving the appearance of having at least 500 HP. I mean, we just had to give it a bit of a tough guy look. For all of the details plus loads of photos and videos, check out our project site at we-love-machines.com.
Well, that’s the Lindner 1700 A finished – it was great fun to work on. For me, it was also a fitting way to say farewell. This may come as a shock, but I have now sold my workshop in Berlin after some 20 years … Despite how much I love nuts and bolts, how I live amongst oil and petrol, how I enjoy welding together ideas and coming up with creative solutions for all kinds of crazy constructions, I feel as if I have worked for a hundred years, living in the workshop without a single holiday. That’s fine when you’re still young, but there has to come a time to hang up the tools, step off the hydraulic ramp and experience life again. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not going into retirement. My small private workshop, a customer project here and there, plenty of time to work on my own classic cars and, most of all, to discover new places and faces – these are the things that I’m really looking forward to … that’s my next big project. I’m just as excited about it as I was in the run up to this conversion campaign. Maybe even more.
Someone who I hope is every bit as excited is our tractor’s new owner! Today, on 18/07/2016, Lina and I will hand over the keys to the highest bidder at auction, who bought our party truck at the incredible price of EUR 18,999. As soon as the handover is complete, the money – rounded up to EUR 20,000 courtesy of MANN-FILTER – will be donated to UNICEF.