Ladies, Grin and Bear It!

1953 Farmall Super MD Tractor

shares the story of how her husband Dick bought and restored this 1953 Farmall Super MD in 'Ladies, Grin and Bear It.'

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P.O. BOX 1487, Dudley, Massachusetts 01571

Once upon a time there was a happy little family on their way out West to visit their friend Mongoose Jimmy. Baby Bear Roanne usually determined when and where we ate, as baby bears aren't very good at waiting once they've decided it's time. But that was okay, we needed to fuel up anyway.

We settled into a table and a happy face came over to wait on us. The people out there are so friendly and pleasant, always have a minute to chat with you. Soon we are engaged in a delectable meal. However, I noticed my husband's gaze out the window was getting more intense. Across from the restaurant was a small repair shop with several pieces of equipment that had caught his attention. Quickly he finished his meal and announced he would be right back, but told us to take our time. Which was fine with me because with baby bear Roanne and medium bear Carl, you don't have much choice.

Papa Bear Dick returned all excited about some old relic, oh excuse me, a precious gem, diamond in the rough, he had discovered. The owner wasn't there, but was expected shortly.

There was a nice big parking lot, that's another interesting thing about the West; there's so much more room. Maybe that's why the people are more relaxed you don't have to worry about stepping on someone's toes all the time. Anyway, it was a perfect place for baby bears to run around and get exercise.

After my domestic duties were tended to I toddled off to inspect this rare find. At first I questioned my husband's enthusiasm. Obviously this vintage piece was on its way to the killer pen with several parts already plucked and the engine was very stuck. But Dick had never been able to afford one back when he was farming and it was love at first sight. He liked her nice straight lines. It was a Super MD Farmall.

The owner had returned and it was a delight to meet him. His personality was as colorful as his name depicted. Soon a deal was struck and the daring feat of loading began. (Rule #1: for vintage collectors, never leave home without your trailer. Thankfully we learned this sometime ago.) Of course the Super MD had to be towed and Dick found it quite a challenge to maneuver his new love with a pair of vice grips clamped onto the steering post, as there was no steering wheel. There were quite a few obstacles to get around before he got to the trailer. Of course, there were no brakes.

I'm not sure, but I think this was supposed to be a tinned event. I'm judging this from the rate of speed at which the feat was accomplished. The actual loading of the tractor went quite smoothly. I have witnessed this phenomenon many times. Always hold your breath, say a prayer and be thankful it gets accomplished without someone getting killed. Being an equipment operator I've seen about everything that can go wrong happen. If someone ever asks you to help load on a wet trailer, go bury your head in the sand! You don't even want to watch, never mind help.

Now with 'Lovey' all loaded onto the trailer he could give back the borrowed front tire and bring his prize home. So-o-o for the next year I competed with Lovey for attention. And poor Lovey really needed attention, she'd been quite unloved for sometime.

Dick overhauled the engine, gave her a new clutch and oil seals, new brakes and seals, new bearings and seals in the bearing box. He put back the original narrow front end as she came with an adapted H wide front, new wiring harness, steering wheel and of course topped it off with four new tires. Now he could start on the cosmetics, new paint, new seat, shiny this 'n' that. Wow! That's got to be true love.

Of course, I don't feel I've ever gotten a full confession on the amount of money Dick spent on Lovey. Women do get a little testy over such things. But I can appreciate a fine piece of equipment.