Classic tractor

Wayne Beckom of Kokomo, Indiana, on his restored 1935 John Deere B featured on the cover of the 1991 DuPont calendar.

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Classic tractor owner Wayne Beckom, Kokomo, Indiana, has gained national recognition for restoring a 1935 John Deere B. His brilliant green and yellow 'Johnny Popper' appears on the cover of the 1991 Classic Farm Tractors Calendar produced by DuPont Agricultural Products.

'My grandfather bought this tractor and a one-bottom, 16-inch plow, from their original owner in 1945 for $650,' says Wayne. 'The B was used until the 1960's when it was stored in a barn that a tornado later wrecked. After the B was dug out, it was left in the open where a tree grew up through the frame past the carburetor. I bought the tractor in 1987 and restored it.'

Wayne tracked down the original factory steel road bands for the rear wheels, plus another set of front steel wheels. The steel had been replaced by rubber as soon as tire shortages ended after World War II.

The Model B was the most popular John Deere tractor ever, with more than 306,000 built from 1935 through 1952. About two-thirds the size of the larger Model A in power, weight, and dimensions, the B weighed around 2,455 pounds. Sales literature stated: 'While the Model B weighs less than two good horses, it will do the work of four.'

Wayne exhibited at the huge Two-Cylinder Club Show last summer in Waterloo, Iowa. He has won at the Indiana State Fair, and he plans to make the Mid-America Threshing Show in 1991 in Tipton, Indiana.

The calendar, a companion full-color poster and a videotape are all available for purchase from DuPont by calling toll-free: 1-800-527-2601. Or, write to: Classic Tractors, P.O. Box 1755, Wilmington, DE 19899.