History of My Tractor

Model A Ford tractor

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603 Loon Lake Road, Bigfork, Montana 599II

I am a new subscriber to your Gas Engine Magazine and really enjoy reading other people's stories of their engines and tractors.

I am getting some great help from John W. Boyens of Bettendorf, Iowa on my 1 HP McCormick Deering.

In the December 1992 issue, I read about a tractor find in New Hampshire concerning a Model A Ford tractor adapter kit. I have one of those tractors, restored and running. The only difference is my kit was sold by Montgomery Ward, not Sears and Roebuck.

I bought the tractor in 1963 for $15.00. It was brought to me for that price.

The clutch was rusted, so I pulled the engine, freed the clutch and had it running that day. I tried breaking the clutch loose by backing into a tree but it didn't work, just killed the engine.

Well, I parked it until 1981, when there was a tractor pulling show. I dug 'Henry' out, got him on the trailer, and entered the 'pull.' I only got 50 some feet, because by then I was doing a 'wheelie' and spun out. In 1983, another year and another pull. By then I made a lower drawbar, experienced no wheelie, but spun out just past the 75 foot mark. No winner, again. That was the last time I ran 'Henry.' He's parked in a covered shed now. I put oil in the plug holes and crank him once in a while. No more tractor shows around here.

A few years ago, I thought I'd better find out where 'he' came from. That wasn't hard to do. A visit to Leonard Smith told me everything:

His father-in-law farmed with horses for years, wanted a change and something he didn't have to feed 365 days a year. Mr. Smith had a 1929 Model A sedan (wrecked), so he bought the tractor kit from the 1937 Montgomery Ward Spring and Summer Catalog. The tractor was used for many years, plowing, mowing, hauling, skidding, cultivating and whatever else.

My tractor has the lugs instead of cleats. As you can see, the lugs are really worn down from spinning on our rocky soil.

The engine was rebuilt many times in its life. Right now it has an engine rebuilt in Chadron, Nebraska.

To get three speed-a-head the rear end was taken apart and the ring gear was mounted on the opposite side. It can be done easily to a Ford rear end.