Editor's note: In our January 2000 issue, we ran a story by Ed Bresley, on the Sandwich, Illinois Early Day and Engine Show. We heard from Steven ]. Parker, 114 S. Lombard, Mahomet, Illinois 61853-0470, who had this additional information to offer:
Contained within Ed Bresley's article is a piece on my Ford Dearborn road maintainer. I had no idea that he was present at the show, let alone that he had taken a picture with intentions of doing an article. I've certainly no complaints and want to express my sincere thanks!
However, I want to clear up a couple of points about the 'grader,' as I'm sure others will notice the 'error.' The assertion that this is 'one of fifty built,' we are unable to make with absolute certainty. After considerable efforts by Dwight Emstrom, a highly regarded Ford authority (and also the owner of a restored machine like this one), the claim is based on conversations with a former employee of the manufacturer, and is the best information that could be found. Dwight and I are aware of 12 to 15 of these machines that have been restored or are in use today, so this one is certainly not the sole survivor, but is indeed fairly rare as the author stated.
For your information, the 'grader' is one of over one hundred different implements that the Dearborn Equipment Division of Ford built for its tractors. It came with no wheels or tires at all. It would be 'stored' on stands or blocks until needed. When the implement was needed, operators would simply remove whatever attachment was on the tractor, drive up to the grader, remove the outer front axles and wheels from the tractor, install them on the inner axle of the grader, and move the tractor into the grader frame, bolting it to the rear axle much in the same manner as a loader would be attached. The front of the tractor was then held in place by two pieces that dropped down and bolted onto the inner axle of the tractor from which the outer axles and tires had been removed. Thus, a very useful piece of equipment served the small contractor, village or township road commissioner that could not afford a road grader, and a loader tractor (and whatever else they may have needed), as individual pieces of equipment.
And, in the 'by the way' column, Ray Favero calls it 'the ugliest looking Ford tractor I (he) ever saw.' I've got to agree with the author and Ray . . . and Ray is the owner/builder of the V-12. His address is 700 E. Main, Braidwood, Illinois.
P.S. Dwight, Ray, and I are all members of the Ford/Fordson Collectors Association. Our 'annual meeting' or National show was listed correctly in your classifieds as being June 2, 3, & 4th in Indy.