NORRIDGEWOCK — Ten-year-old Trent Roy has loved tractors since he was a toddler, eagerly accompanying his parents to watch tractor pulls and spending time tinkering with faulty motors.

And thanks to a generous gift, the boy now has one of his own.

Canaan resident Sonny Peare last month gave Trent a 1947 Allis-Chalmers Model C tractor. His only condition was that the boy should enjoy it, and use it in tractor pulls.

“I wasn’t looking to downsize,” said Peare, who has a collection of 16 antique tractors. “I wanted to give it to a young puller that would use it, someone interested in tractors.”

Trent more than fits the description. The boy has been enamored by tractors and motors, such as those in snowmobiles and four-wheelers, since he was 2 or 3 years old, said his mother, Jillian Roy.

It is not clear how Trent began his fascination with tractors. He lives with his mother and father, Joe Roy, in Norridgewock, and although they live near plenty of farms, they are not a farming family.


“We thought it would be kind of a phase,” Jillian Roy said last week. “But he never wavered.”

Trent’s family has set about nurturing the boy’s keen interest in tractors. His parents and grandfather said they frequently take Trent to nearby places, including Hilton Farms and Chartrand Farms, to see tractors at work. They also take him to tractor pulls hosted by the Maine Antique Tractor Club, based in Norridgewock.

“He decided he wanted to be a part of it,” Jillian Roy said.

Sponsored by his grandfather, Steve Fortin, Trent was able to become a member of the club last year. He turned 10 and was finally eligible for a tractor pull event. Trent made his debut at the club’s annual tractor festival on an antique lawnmower owned by a family member.

“He was pretty excited,” said Pam Vaillancourt, president of the antique tractor club. “We even let him pull twice.”

Vaillancourt said in the club of 500 people, with most members in their 70s, Trent stands out as one of a handful of members in the range of 10 to 16 years old. But in terms of his interest and enthusiasm, Vaillancourt said Trent is a cut above the rest.


“He helps out. He’s involved with the club. He even bid on a silent auction,” Vaillancourt said. “It’s good to see.”

So when Peare approached Vaillancourt to ask if she knew of young people who could benefit from a tractor, she thought immediately of Trent and connected the two of them.

It is not every day a preteen takes such an earnest, unprompted interest in antique tractors and pulling them, Vaillancourt said, and the club jumped at the opportunity to facilitate Peare’s handing over the gift.

The tractor is an orange lawn and garden tractor that needs fresh paint and a bit of work, but is otherwise running fine, said Peare, who is 85. He was glad to hand the antique over to someone who will give it new life, instead of selling it.

Trent said he feels ready to take on the challenge of restoring the tractor to its former glory, and is now working with a mechanic in Anson to do so. The Roys’ neighbors for years have given the boy faulty lawnmowers, weed whackers and even chain saws to fix, Jillian Roy said, so he has some hands-on experience.

Trent said he has already bought a new battery and magneto for his newly acquired antique tractor. (A magneto is an alternator with permanent magnets used in an internal combustion engine.)


The boy said the tractor should be ready to pull by next fall, and by that time, he will be eligible to compete at tractor pulls in the higher weight class that the Allis-Chalmers demands.

Members of the Roy family said they were stunned by Peare’s gift to Trent.

It would have taken them another couple of years to be able to find and buy such a tractor by themselves, Jillian Roy said, adding Trent was thankful to be able to begin pulling his own tractor at such a young age.

“I was happy,” Trent said, shyly, last week.

Trent, a fifth grader at Mill Stream Elementary School in Norridgewock, said he would like to be an engineer or a mechanic when he is older.

The boy sees his love of tractors only growing now that he has his own antique Allis-Chalmers, and said he is looking forward to showing it off, restored, at the club next year.

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