The Story Behind My 1955 Ford 850

Ford 850

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2821 Wilmington Road Lebanon, Ohio 45036-9748

This is my 1955 Ford 850, serial number 22047. I have a story behind the tractor that spans over 45 years of enjoying being around tractors.

I was raised around a 9N Ford and a 1952 Ford 8N tractor. After graduating from college and spending many years teaching school, in 1980 I started looking around for a 1952 Ford 8N. I could not find one in southern Ohio. I finally found a 1955 Ford 850 that had been mechanically overhauled and was for sale. At Christmas of 1981 I bought the Ford tractor and a grader blade. Since that time I have bought a Dearborn 2-bottom plow, a 6-foot pickup disc and a lift pole. I have tried to restore all these pieces of equipment mechanically and cosmetically since that date. In 1986 I found a gentleman who agreed to steam clean and paint my tractor. He did a great job. We also got the radiator rebuilt when we had all the sheet metal off the tractor.

In January of 1991, my wife bought me a book called Ford Tractors by Robert Pripps. In the book I noticed a bearded gentleman by the name of Bill Ficken, manager of Strojney Implement of Mosinee, Wisconsin, in a picture holding a crankshaft for a Ford. I wrote the company and a few weeks later the gentleman called me. I asked him if he could find a lift arm for the left side of the three point hitch on a Ford 850. He said yes, so I sent him the money and I received the arm a few days later. The old one had been welded. I then continued to search for two radius rods. The ones on the tractor had been welded because the first owner had a loader on the tractor. I finally found two radius rods in a tractor graveyard near Springfield, Ohio. I carefully sanded, under-coated and painted the three new pieces of iron for the tractor and put them on.

This made the tractor look better in my eyes. In 1993 I needed to get a new rim because the calcium chloride had eaten the rim badly. When I went to the tire shop in Lebanon, Ohio, I learned that both rear tubes were rotten and leaking the chemical. So, I put on two new rear tubes, tires and one new rim. I did not put the chemical back in the tires. I then cleaned, primed and painted the rims before the tires were mounted.

It is now January of 1995 and I finally have my 1955 Ford 850 looking and running nearly as it was when it was new. I used it to plow, disc and cultivate our large garden. I also use the grader blade to clean out our rather long lane in the winter when the snow gets deep. I really enjoy being around the tractor and actually using it almost daily. I also have shown the tractor at Old Timer's Days in Xenia, Ohio, and Caesar's Creek Pioneer Days in Waynesville, Ohio. My last project is to find two ribbed 6:00 x 16 front tires for the tractor. I cannot find anybody who can help me now. I have talked to Miller Tire of Wauseon, Ohio, and they think they will be able to help me in the near future.

I hope to continue to keep my tractor and equipment running and looking as if it was all new. I have enjoyed the tractor immensely the last 13 years, and I have learned a lot about tractors and the people who love them like I do. The tractors and people are great. I am the third owner of this tractor and I intend keeping it until I pass it on to my son and daughter. They will sell it immediately, I am sure.