Uelzen (dpa/lno) – Driving a tractor remains a truly original experience for Jürgen Scharnhop: It rattles and jolts as the farmer drives his historic vehicle over the cobblestones of his farm. “I enjoy driving it slowly through towns,” says the former farmer.
The maximum speed is 20 kilometers per hour. On snowy winter days, the 84-year-old pulls his sled with children behind his vehicle through the streets of the small town of Niendorf in the municipality of Römstedt in the district of Uelzen. So that they do not wobble so much, he himself renewed the thick rails of the sledges.
He sits proudly in a vintage car – he cares and appreciates the 40 specimens in his little museum, some of which have recently been sprayed. One experience is the elaborate lighting of a 1940 Lanz Bulldog with a two-stroke glow plug. The warm-up is a minute-long ritual: He pours the heating lamp halfway with gasoline, then pours alcohol over it, which Scharnhop lights with a long-handled lighter. Only when the blue flame on the ignition disc is glowing can the tech enthusiast get started.
To do this, he takes the large steering wheel, hooks it and, with the help of the visitors, throws the beefy vehicle; he can no longer do it alone at his age. Patience pays off: gray clouds rise from the elongated chimney and noise fills the room. “You have to approach this tractor with respect,” says the expert. Scharnhop can’t drive the Lanz that day, so he would have to re-park a lot of tractors. A lot of work because everyone is hooked. “They are stationary all year round and, otherwise, the tires would develop pressure points,” explains the specialist. At least five are still licensed.
Tractor day and exhibition at the PS.speicher museum
Fans also appreciate the deafening noise of Tractor Day, which takes place every two years at the PS.speicher museum in Einbeck, in the Northeim district. Classic car fans travel like a big family reunion, all generations are represented. “The tractor scene is one of the fastest growing classic car scenes,” says Stephan Richter, press spokesperson for the museum. Collectors are very active, a permanent exhibition in the PS.speicher is dedicated to old diesel vehicles. “The subject is in absolute demand, agriculture has a centuries-old tradition.” 100 years ago, the first Lanz Bulldog took to the field.
At Scharnhop, the oldest model in their collection is a well-kept, 84-year-old, 20hp Normag. No model is rusty, as little as its owner, who does not stop falling into Low German in his stories. In addition to the rented apartments on the estate, which he developed himself, he keeps fit with the trombone, piano and accordion. Corona slowed him down a bit, otherwise he plays in three trombone choirs. “When I do something, I do it all or nothing,” says the retiree, who has traveled to countries like Brazil, Argentina and the United States for his passion.
He also collects everything really old in his little museum. Cameras, calculators and cash registers are displayed in four display cases. Looms, spinning wheels and potato sorters are lined up in the attic. The season started in early March and riders regularly pass through November. And on Pentecost, Scharnhop expects loyal tractor fans to spend the night with their mobile homes on his farm. “Anything that’s fun isn’t work for me,” he says.
The museum is open daily from March through November 30 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.