A Big Brother Texas G

By Staff
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The G fresh out of the vine pile.
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'Cousin' 1929 D had the longest pull in the antique division.
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An F-12 tests its strength at pulling the sled.

P.O. Box 333 Holland, Texas 76534

I would like to share a few thoughts concerning John Deere
G’s. For those who might not know, the G is the identical (in
appearance) ‘big brother’ of the John Deere A, which is
identical (in appearance) to the ‘little brother’ John
Deere B. All three are row crop tractors.

I grew up on a small farm in central Texas, on and around John
Deere A’s and B’s, just about the time production of these
letter series models ended. It seems every John Deere owner either
had an A or a B and nobody had a G. As a farm kid growing up
driving tractors, I had never even heard of a G and didn’t even
know they existed for many years. They just didn’t seem to be
around, at least that is the way it was around here. A long time
tractor mechanic/collector told me (speaking of an era which began
just prior to the mid-30’s and for just over a half decade
later), ‘around here, the poor people bought the small B’s,
the rich people bought the A’s and nobody bought the big
G’s. That same era is when these B’s, A’s and G’s
were manufactured ‘un-styled’ which was prior to the grill
that covers the radiator and front steering column.

I have been searching around for an unstyled G for a few years
and you can imagine how scarce they are now considering the fact
they couldn’t be found in their own day and time. Recently, I
was able to buy one sight-unseen, over the phone, approximately 150
miles from my home. The owner said it had a can on the muffler to
keep rain out of the engine and I just couldn’t wait to see it.
As I approached the G, when I arrived to get it, I could see that
it did have a can on the muffler but the bottom had rusted out of
it and the can had fallen down to the hood at the bottom of the
muffler! I wish I had a photo of the G as it sat in its resting
place, but I was afraid to show my camera because the landowner,
where the G owner had the tractor stored, was already complaining
to the G owner about various things and I didn’t want to do
anything to risk not being able to acquire this G. If I had a
photo, however, you would be able to see that this G was completely
covered by dewberry vines. The wheels were not even visible! The
first thing I did was move some vines to look at the I.D. tag. Its
serial number showed #1811 which told me it was a 1937 model-the
first year G’s were produced. It also told me it was a low
serial number G-the 812th produced! (All G lovers know the first G
produced was#1000). I then tore away a few vines from a rear wheel
and saw that it had factory round spoke wheels. Later, after we
pulled it out of the vine pile, I could see it had front factory
round spoke wheels also and all wheels were in good condition. The
engine was stuck but that wasn’t surprising. We messed up the
home of two six-foot king snakes which had been living in a rotted
rear tire. One made it out, the other was killed by the rear wheel
when we rolled the engine out of the vine pile.

Now, if you’ve ever had ‘collector’s fever,’ you
know how hard it is to keep your hands off something you’ve
wanted so long. I just couldn’t wait to get the cylinder head
off and look at the rain soaked, rusted cylinders. They did have
plenty of rust and the pistons were stuck real good. While I was
having the valves ground, I worked at removing the stuck pistons
until they gave up and came out. (Everybody ought to have the
opportunity to do this at least once!) After refurbishing the
cylinder walls, I installed new rings and completed putting
everything back together and bingo! Does it sound beautiful to my

I have not applied new paint. I might get around to that
someday. You know, I kinda like the way my old tractors look with
rust or faded paint. It reminds me

of the ‘good ole days’ back on the farm where all things
were not shiny and new looking. (The children of today, and the
future, need to realize this about our past too.)

I was able to get the old G back into running condition just
prior to our annual Texas Early Day Tractor and Engine Association
Show which was held October 7 and 8, 1989. I took it to the annual
show and entered it in our antique/classic tractor pull contest, of
which I am chairman. The ‘Big Brother G’ ran and pulled
well. It was a pleasure to drive it down the track, just as it was
a pleasure to drive its cousins down the track-my 1929 and 1935
John Deere D’s which I had also taken to the show. It is truly
a great feeling to peel the rust out of the innards of something
like this old G and ‘bring it roaring back to life

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