24 Hoyle Road Craryville, New York 12521
Minutes after the GEM arrived, my fifteen year old son John
called out to me, ‘Dad, there’s a two HP New Holland with
cart for sale in Perry, New York.’ Now you have to realize that
John really liked everything about these New Holland engines. In
fact, it seemed that Wendel’s Gas Engine Encyclopedia was
always open to Page 338. Well, maybe it was time to make a move, so
I asked John to give the owner a call. What, no phone number, just
an address? We sent out a letter, and a few days later I received a
phone call from Mike, the owner. After discussing the condition of
the engine, an asking price was agreed upon that convinced me that
the six-hour trip might well be worth it, and the next day young
John and I were heading west on the New York State Thruway.
We found the house with no problem, since it seemed that
everyone in the town of Perry knew Mike’s father, and his
collection of fine restored Massey Harris tractors. The New Holland
was exactly as described, except for one minor problem: it would
We tried for over an hour in that muggy 90-plus degree heat to
get it started, and that New Holland would always give a pop and a
puff of smoke just before we were ready to quit. I believed that it
indeed had run in the past, and some fine tuning was all that was
needed. After Mike and I settled on a fair price, we loaded it up
in the back of my pickup, and headed for home. I wish all you
readers could have seen the grin on John’s face when that deal
was closed. My wish was his dream, and in that moment, we all
realized that in this hobby, more than a sale takes place when
pieces of old iron change hands.
I have to stop for a moment and state that young John has a good
knack for knowing how things work, and has previously restored a
1951 John Deere A and a very seized up and thoroughly rusted 5 HP
Waterloo Boy gas engine. He will write about these in the
Back at home, within minutes after unloading, John had that New
Holland’s loose magneto cleaned up, tightened fast, and just a
chugging along; rough but still a relief to hear. Nothing beats
listening to an engine for the first time.
The summer of 1994 was upon us, and after exhibiting the New
Holland at the Canandaigua, New York, Pageant of Steam, we decided
this engine needed some work. The original paint had been covered
over with a basic red, and the old pin striping could still be seen
underneath. There was no saving it, and it all came off with the
sandblaster. John did all the work, and as for me, I was mighty
proud of his work, and satisfied being the silent partner. We
noticed the rocker arm had been broken and repaired sometime in the
past, but everything else looked original, even the START and RUN
control arm at the top of the hopper.
Metal etch primer was used throughout, and Centari 97813A H
Chrysler Scorched Red was recommended by The Reflector.
My good friend Gary ‘History’ Friss, owner of Signs by
Design in Hudson, New York, completed the beautiful pin-striping.
Our local club, the Hudson Valley Old Time Power Association, has
its annual show the first weekend in August, and that New Holland
was ready, the paint barely dry, just days ahead of time.
As luck would have it, our club president, Clyde Shook,
remembered seeing a New Holland Number One grinder at a Civil War
period farm in neighboring Greene County. Clyde called the owner,
and yes, it was still there, and better yet, it was for sale. John
and I soon had a complete outfit, and headed for the 1995 Rough and
Tumble Show at Kinzers, Pennsylvania, featuring the 100th
anniversary of the New Holland Machine Company. My boy was on cloud
nine with our exhibit. He learned much about the New Holland
Company. I am especially appreciative to Cliff Moyer for providing
serial number information (the engine was manufactured in 1914),
and John Kreider, for sharing his knowledge and talent with us.
Well, the New Holland is completed, paired up with a hard
working partner and performing its new duties as teacher,
demonstrator, and historian.