The family farm where I grew up in Milton had two tractors, a 1942 John Deere B and a 1929 Farmall F20. The F20 had steel wheels but was later converted to rubber tires making for a smoother ride and easier for the town road crews. I couldn’t wait to drive these tractors and finally when I was nine my dad agreed to show me how. That led to many hours of plowing, harrowing, planting, haying, sugaring, manure spreading, etc. Later, in 1959 Dad purchased a JD 435D, John Deere’s first venture into a small diesel tractor. This tractor had an engine built by General Motors, was made for only two years and is very collectible. That year, 1959, was the year I graduated from high school and left the farm eventually forming my own construction company where I still work.
My interest in restoration started with a 1928 IHC 6-speed Special truck that I found in Stowe in ‘76. I still drive and show it. Anyone wanting to do restoring should be ready for the cost of finding the parts needed all over the U.S. on top of the many hours it takes to do the work. It also helps to have a partner involved. My wife, Velma, is very interested and involved in my projects which makes the work very much more enjoyable.
Our first tractor restoration was the JD-B that I purchased in the 80’s pictured above and on the front page. Then we did the JD 435D and after that the 65 F100 Pickup. We are very proud that our 65 F100 pickup went on to win the VAE’s restoration of the year in 2010 and 1st place in it’s class at the Stowe Show in 2011. We found a Farmall F20 during one of our VAE tours in New York and ended up bringing that home for a face-lift. Our present project is a ‘69 Ford Dump truck (shown on page 16). The JD 435D is the tractor from our family farm and I also have a 1960 JD 1010 crawl-er that my uncle had on his farm.
Velma and I belong to two tractor clubs (listed below) and enjoy many events including the Maple Fest parade, June Dairy Day, tractor pulls, field days, plow days, corn harvest and the Applefest. This year the Northeast Two Cylinder Club will be hosting the New England John Deere Expo VI in New Boston, NH on August 22nd, 23rd and 24th. The main feature will be JD tractors in the number series from 1953 to 1956. For example, in 1953 the JD40 was built and there were 8 to 10 variations in that series….wide and narrow front ends, low and high crop, etc. So between 1953 and 1956 there were series 40, 50, 60,70 and 80’s with many variations of each. The club is also inviting pre-1960’s International tractors (Farmalls) to join our Expo as Special Guests. People we meet in the tractor clubs are in the most part farmers or from a farm background but there is no prerequisite. Tractors are very interesting and fun; everyone is welcome.