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 not start.
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 future.
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.