Centre Co. teen has unique restoration project on display at PA Farm Show

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PLEASANT GAP, CENTRE COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ)– As the Pennsylvania Farm Show enters its final Saturday, nestled among displays in its expo room, is a tractor with a unique owner.

He’s a teenager from Centre County looking to preserve what he says are pieces of mechanical history.

The workshop in 17-year-old Trevor Mauk’s backyard is like a second home.

“Ever since I was a little toddler I remember being down here helping dad, handing tools as much as I could,” Mauk, from Pleasant Gap said.

Now, the tools he handles are a bit more advanced. They have to be for the project he began two-and-a-half years ago: restoring a 1952 John Deere-50 tractor.

When Mauk first bought the tractor he said it looked like it came fresh from the scrap yard.

“It was in very rough condition, it was missing most of the parts,” he said.

This included the front wheels, and basically the entire engine.

“Lots of people would’ve looked at it and just said forget it, not doing that,” Mauk added.

But he said he likes a challenge, and started with a complete engine rebuild.

One of the biggest struggles was finding the parts.

“There are some things you can still get through the manufacturer like John Deere,” he said.

But he also relied on local antique vendors — so he could keep things authentic.

Getting the parts was one thing. but putting them together took more than light reading.

“I had to buy manuals from John Deere that had everything in them that showed me what to do, and how to do it, and basically like the bible for the restoration. I had to learn as I went along,” he said.

Piece-by-piece the tractor began to come together with a new paint job of that iconic green and yellow and those classic big black wheels.

Mauk says the restoration was a real investment.

“I’ve have close to 500 hours put into it,” he said.

That doesn’t include the time he put in to the three jobs he worked to pay for the parts.

And after all that work, one key component remained: getting the tractor to run.

A final hurdle he tackled in completely restoring the tractor.

“It’s a lot more fun to make something old run like new again,” he said.

Now, Mauk gets to put his hard work on display at the PA Farm Show.

“It’s all about preserving history, and taking care of things so they last,” he said.

Showing that what’s old can be made new again with dedication, passion, and a little elbow grease.

Saturday, Mauk will give a presentation on his tractor restoration at the PA Farm Show.

Mauk has already recieved a best record award and will be up for more prizes on Saturday.

More on Mauk:

-His involvement in restoring the tractor for the PA Farm Show is through the Future Farmer’s of America (FFA).

-He’s a junior on the honor roll at Bellefonte High School

-He’s currently going to the Central PA Institute of Science and Technology (CPI) through his high school. At CPI, he’s looking into becoming a welder, possibly pursuing a career in the agriculture industry.

-This 1952 John Deere-50 tractor is the third one he’s restored (and by far the most involved with the restoration taking 2.5 years).

-He’s a second-team all-state Football Player (played guard for Bellefonte).

-He’s currently training a seeing-eye puppy.

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