608 S. Fulton, Salisbury, North Carolina 28144
I’ve always had a fascination for old engines but I never
had one ’til I got a Fairbanks-Morse Z, 1? HP, a couple of
years ago. I restored the engine and constructed a beautiful oak
frame, nicely varnished, for it to rest on.
I showed it a couple of times, but there was always something
missing. The engine ran perfectly, but it had to do something.
I decided to give it a job, by constructing a tractor. I rounded
up a few parts from old scrapped lawn tractors, bought some steel
to fabricate a frame, rigged up a couple of belts over a jackshaft
and voila! A small tractor emerged that has been a source for
Granted, it is not going to win any tractor pulls, but I’ve
not yet come close to killing the engine anywhere it has been
My tractor uses an old Toro lawn tractor transaxle that is cast
iron, heavy and tough. The rear wheels are from a Studebaker pickup
(6.00×16). The spokes were cut from plywood and look very much like
castings. The radiator is, of course, a fake. The core is an old
scrapped radiator cut to size and fitted into a wooden jacket which
again appears as a casting. An old John Deere cast iron seat and a
pair of trailer fenders pretty well completed this exact scale
model of what could have been a Farmall.
So, finally the old F-M Z has something to do, and provides fun
for Gramps, the little kids, and everybody in between.
Its transporter is a ’51 Studebaker truck. Arrival at a show
draws a crowd every time.