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The Cultivator

Thoughts from the editor.

Rescuing the International Harvester M

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Rescue stories are my favorite. From the discovery, to the preparation, to the rescue, to the restoration, there’s just something about the energy associated with rescuing a relic of the past that makes my heart beat a little faster.

A few months ago, I got a phone call from Steve Allison in Tennessee. He’d recently rescued a 10 HP International Harvester M from the woods. Not a small feat, but it was made even better when Steve mentioned long-time GEM readers would be familiar with the engine, affectionately dubbed the Haircut Engine.

You see, back in January 1997, Burton Marsh wrote an article about his discovery of the Haircut Engine (given that name because Burton was alerted to its existence when he went to get a haircut). Unfortunately, despite years of trying, Burton was never able to rescue the old engine.

Enter Steve. Fifteen years later, Burton told Steve about the engine, and Steve went to work relocating the engine, getting permission to rescue it, then retrieving and restoring it. Burton was involved the whole way, and it’s a great story of dedication and perseverance.

As incredible as the Haircut Engine’s story is, we are lucky to hear these kinds of stories all the time. That’s why in our latest special issue, we combed through the archives of Gas Engine Magazine, Steam Traction, Iron-Men Album and Farm Collector to put together a selection of our favorite rescue stories.

Great Finds: Tales of Hunting Old Iron runs the gamut of rescues: pulled from trees, salvaged from sheds and hedgerows, excavated from riverbeds, retrieved from the wilderness.

But it doesn’t stop there. We share stories of collectors so dedicated to owning specific pieces they built them from scratch. Or the tales of children and grandchildren going to great lengths to find Dad’s old Farmall, or restoring the family Rumely.

To order your copy, go to or call 1-866-624-9388.

And, as always, don’t forget to share your great rescue stories with the rest of the GEM community. Call, email or write. We love hearing from you!

Beth Beavers
Associate Editor