My Two Deeres

| May/June 1995

  • John Deere gasoline engine

  • John Deere gasoline engine

  • John Deere gasoline engine
  • John Deere gasoline engine

4660 County Road 134, St. Cloud, Minnesota 56303

Over the last few years I have restored several John Deere gasoline engines, and I was looking for another project. In the spring of 1992 my wife and I traveled to the LeSueur, Minnesota, Swap Meet where I met Bob Campbell selling half scale John Deere kits, available with the trucks. I inquired as to the price, swallowed hard, and we continued on our way.

About one month later at the Waukee, Iowa, Swap Meet I saw Bob once again offering the half scale kits. I reminded my loving wife that my birthday is in August and soon became the proud owner of a box full of half scale John Deere parts, with machining done.

I assembled the little engine during the winter of 1992-1993, taking the time to smooth the castings, especially the faces of the wheels. When completed, I took the engine to Jake Zilverberg of Aitkin, Minnesota, for the first start up. It took no more than one half hour and we had it running nicely.

In the summer of 1993 my wife and I attended the Portland, Indiana, Show and there I saw the nickel plated Root Vandervoort that was shown in the GEM April 1994 issue. I then began to wonder whether or not Bob had another half scale John Deere, and was it possible to polish the cast iron smooth enough to have it chromed? When I returned home I called him. He told me that one half scale engine was left. I promptly reminded my loving wife that next year I would have another birthday, and soon thereafter we drove to Eagle Grove, Iowa, to pick up my second half scale John Deere engine.

When I began to work on my second engine I inquired at a local chrome shop if the engine could be chromed. They said, 'Yes, but you've got to polish it.' It took me the best part of January . . . February . . . and March of 1994 to polish and assemble it.


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