NO ONE KNOWS How This General Got To California

General Tractor

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9345 Lemon Avenue La Mesa, California 91941

I acquired my General from Bill May. Bill found it on a ranch east of San Diego, California. It was in bad shape. The engine was frozen, one wheel fell off while loading it on a trailer. Nobody knows how the General got to San Diego. I don't think any were sold in California.

My General, serial #1FA090, is the 45th tractor made. Generals had only even serial numbers.

Cleveland Tractor Company (Cletrac) started making Generals late in 1939. They sold for $595 F.O.B. Cleveland. They were made in 1940-41, and in January 1942. Tooling and parts were sold to B. F. Avery & Sons, and moved to Louisville, Kentucky. In April 1942, Avery started making Generals. They were painted red.

Soon Avery made some improvements and the General became Avery (A). The General had a Hercules IXA engine, thermal-siphon cooling, magneto ignition, Borg Warner clutch, Clark transmission and rear axle, hand brakes, no spring under the seat. Rear tires were 9.5 x 24 with 5.50 x 16 front. It had 14 draw-bar HP18 belt HP and weight was 2200 lb.

Bill did a ring and valve job. I dropped the pan; checked the bearings and oil pump. I put in new front and rear oil seals, installed the new TSXU-828 Marvel-Schebler carburetor. I replaced the clutch, and for those slow moving parades, I installed a lifetime throw out bearing, relined the brake bands. I took apart the transmission, and rear axle to replace all oil seals. The right side axle housing was broken. John Ault of Waverly, Ohio, found an axle housing for me.

The paper belt pulley was saturated with oil from a leaking oil seal. I soaked it in solvent for six weeks to get all the oil out. The radiator had a rat nest in it. The core just needed minor repair. The 41/2 diameter Vortex air cleaner was rusted out. I have not found a Vortex so far.

With wheels and sheet metal removed, everything was sandblasted. Hood and gas tank went to an auto body shop for repair. The fenders had big rust holes and they went to Batson Sheet Metal, Santee, California. There, the rust spots were cut out. New metal was formed and put back. The sheet metal was painted inside and out. After the chassis was painted, the sheet metal was put back. The lettering on the hood is computer-cut vinyl. Gear shift lever boot is from a John Deere garden tractor, part number N 803082.