R2, Greenleaf, Wisconsin 54126
In the Spring of 1980, while driving a truck-mounted field sprayer, I came upon what I recognized as a 1928 model A Ford converted to a tractor with a kit. I had never seen one except in farm papers many years ago. I took a break to look it over. The front axle, wheels and spring were missing as were the water pump and generator. Upon further examination, I saw the 'kit' was a 'Pull Ford' manufactured in Quincy, Illinoisselling price $155.00.
To use the kit, the rear wheels were replaced with nine tooth pinions which engaged a ring gear inside of a pair of steel wheels.
The owner told me his Pull Ford had not been used since 1939. I believe it had been parked outside ever since. The front bumper had settled out of sight into the ground, as had the oil pan. After I bought it, we had to cut a 5-inch tree before we could pull it backwards.
When I started working on the engine, I found it was free. With the head and pan off, I was surprised at the clean cylinder walls and that the pistons rings were loose.
Mice had set up housekeeping in the water jacket of the engine block and head even the radiator had mouse nests in it. Nonetheless, there was no damage from freezing.
Being a member of the Wisconsin Antique Steam Engine Club helped me to get in touch with a number of people who had model A parts.
At a show in Oconto Falls, I met a man who had a water pump; another family sold me a front spring complete with hangers, a generator, carburetor and a few other minor part seven a crank. An auto salvage yard had a pair of 21' wire wheels with tires.
Gil Wendland, also a club member, gave me a lot of help with all wiring which had to be replaced. Valve seats were refaced; bearings taken up. It was a great thrill when the engine came to life!
We showed it in several parades and also at our show in Chilton, Wisconsin.
This is the only model A conversion that I have seen. At another show, there was a model T with a conversion kit. It had a ring gear with teeth on the outside, which required the rear end to be turned upside-down.
I'll sign off with best wishes for all collectors of interesting old iron!