1935 F-12 Farmall

| July/August 1990

395 S. Burnham Hwy. Lisbon, Connecticut 06351

I am 28 years old and have been reading Gas Engine Magazine for two years. was hoping you would like to hear from one of your younger tractor restorers.

My 1935 F-12 Farmall tractor started life on a farm in Hebron, Connecticut, where it was used for years as the sole tractor on the farm. A problem arose after many years of faithful service when, on a cold fall morning, water that was left in the block caused a crack. Unfortunately this is a common problem with early model Farmalls since they are not equipped with freeze plugs. With the crack in the block, water had gotten into the oil pan and froze the oil pump. When the owner tried starting the tractor he broke the oil pump drive shaft. After that the farmer retired his F-12 tractor to the corner of his field.

A few years later Ben Staba, a good friend of mine also of Hebron, Connecticut, got tired of driving by the F-12 and inquired about it. A deal was made and he then towed it home. Ben then started to work on getting it to run.

With a cleaning of the points the mag was hot again. He then drained the fuel tank and the water from the oil pan. He then fixed the crack in the block. Then the big problem was next: fixing the oil pump drive shaft. Since it was the year 1960, old hand crank F-12's were not popular and parts were getting very hard to come by. Ben being very handy made one up from an old Volkswagen cylinder case stud (yes, I know it's hard to believe but it's true, and it worked for ten years). But after that, the crack that was now 31 inches long became impossible to keep fixed. After that Ben retired it to his barn where he took the motor out in hopes of finding another one. Then Ben found a Farmall 200 which he still uses to this day, so the old tired F-12 never got its new motor.

When I was at Ben's farm cutting my winter supply of firewood, I was telling Ben I was looking for a tractor to haul firewood out of the woods. That's when Ben took me inside his barn and showed me his F-12. It was completely covered with steel and wood right next to his baler. Ben then told me the story of the tractor and he told me I could have the tractor if I was willing to fix it up. So I borrowed a trailer and towed it to its new home.