'R' Is for Diesel

'R' John Deere tractor

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Rt. 2, Box 330 Buckholts, Texas 76518

At the Texas Early Day Tractor and Engine Association Meet in October of 1992, discussion of stationary engines with a young man from San Antonio led to the revelation that he knew of an 'R' John Deere near his home which was for sale on an off-and-on basis.

The owner had been a JD dealer in Oklahoma, and after moving to Texas some twenty years ago, had gone back to retrieve the tractor from the family ranch. After several years of use on his Texas farm, it had fallen into disuse, as newer, faster tractors were placed into service. In late 1990, 'Dave' decided to overhaul the old beast and use it again, or at least have it for a display at his ranch.

After taking the engine apart, and buying all the necessary parts, gaskets, and decals, and after having the head and valves restored, he became too involved in the business to pursue the rebuild. (Or substitute: he had lost interest). Now this is where I enter the scene. A call to Dave's home initiated an inspection trip for my wife and me. Arriving at just the right time to coincide with the for sale cycle, I made a deal, and the R joined our fleet at a price that approximated the cost of the parts Dave had bought. A friend has agreed to haul the 7400 pound monster home and do the mechanical work for the fun of it. And for the set of front steel wheels that came to my place with the old A from Cuero. And maybe a magneto later on. Could this turn into a lifetime supply agreement? Time will tell! In the meantime, this will surely be the last JD for our collection! Or maybe the next-to-last?