Since 2001, the JB Dewar Tractor Restoration Program has helped promote ingenuity, hard work and determination in Central Coast youth. The program not only encourages budding entrepreneurs to learn the logistics of record keeping, the importance of time management and the value of sweat equity but also offers cash prizes up to $4,000 and all participants retain the rights to their tractors.
Any high schooler living in San Luis Obispo or Santa Barbara Counties are welcomed to participate in the competition. For those who do not have access to a dilapidated tractor, JB Dewar company will provide a tractor free of charge as long as the participant signs a contract promising to finish the restoration. Rachel Dewar, program coordinator, said that there are numerous local businesses who lend their support to the participants.
The JB Dewar program directly reflects the requirements of the Chevron Delo Tractor Restoration Competition, so if the student wishes they can compete on a national level. A major difference from the Chevron program is that it only accepts 12 entries whereas Dewar does not limit the number of participants.
“We accept as many people who want to restore a tractor,” Dewar said. “We love it, the more people the better.”
Kyle Sorrow, a senior who has restored two tractors in two years — a 1948 Farmall Super A and a 1958 Farmall 460 — said he first became interested in the program from his friends’ participation.
He also plans on furthering his career as a diesel mechanic by attending the Caterpillar Service School and felt that the program was a good idea.
Casey Havemann, a sophomore who worked on a 1951 Farmall Super C, became interested through his brother’s involvement when he made the cut in the Chevron Delo contest in 2017.
“It was more fun restoring a tractor than playing sports for me,” Havemann said.
Viewing the Tractors
Tractors will be on display at the Warbirds Wings and Wheels Car Show and Swap Meet happening Saturday, May 11 from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Estrella Warbird Museum, located at 4251 Dry Creek Road in Paso Robles and the Best of the West Antique Equipment Show Friday through Sunday, May 24 – 26 at the historic Santa Margarita Ranch. The tractors are displayed at the Mid-State Fair each year. People can also see them annually at the Paso Robles Pioneer Day Parade.