Betty's 'Little Pony'

| March/April 1994

  • Tractors show
    Half scale Massey Harris 'Pony' in front of 1948 full size Pony and 1938 101 Twinpower Masseys owned by Rich Miller and Bill Hayes of Delmar, Iowa. Taken at Sandwich Early Day Engine Club Show in 1993.
  • Massey Harris Tractor
    Half scale Massey Harris 'Pony' with standard size lawn chair in cornfield taken June 1993.

  • Tractors show
  • Massey Harris Tractor

69 Dawn Avenue Piano, Illinois 60545

In 1991, while at the Badger Steam and Gas Engine Club Show at Baraboo, Wisconsin, featuring Massey Harris, I took some pictures of an M-H Pony. I drooled over that red and yellow masterpiece of restoration. I usually go to Baraboo every year, but this year was special. I took my 2/5 scale M-H model to be part of the featured attraction. (I never had a featured display before). When I arrived, I talked to Elmer Luck in charge of the M-H display and asked if I could go in the parade with the Masseys and he asked, 'Why, what have you got?' I showed him and he said, 'No problem.' I was content to be at the back of the pack, as long as it was with the Masseys.

Later on I was tinkering with one of the engines in my display when someone tapped me on the shoulder. I turned around and Elmer was standing there. He said the M-H people had talked it over and decided that my tractor shouldn't follow the Masseys. My jaw dropped, but I said, 'Okay.' Then he grinned and said, 'They think you should lead the Masseys in the parade. Will you?' I jumped up and said, 'Do I line up now?' He chuckled and said the parade wasn't until four hours from now. I was ready now! Well, it was one of the greatest honors I have ever experienced. A million thanks to Elmer Luck and the Massey Harris people.

Anyway, back to the Pony. I toyed with the idea of a real one and asked myself where I was going to keep it. (I have two 44s outside under the tarps now.) Then I thought, another model? Then my wife could have a Massey too. (We're a team, you know.) It would be easy to haul on the engine trailer. It would be CUTE! (Maybe.)

But when I built the 44 I had the real thing to measure when I needed to. Something to think about on the way home. Then an idea hit me. I took the pictures I had taken of the Pony to a Xerox machine and made enlarged copies of them. This left a lot of border on which to write measurements.

We went to the Rock River Thresheree at Janesville, Wisconsin, on Labor Day weekend. Lo and behold, there sat a shiny Pony belonging to Willard Green of Footville, Wisconsin. I asked him if I could take some measurements of his tractor and told him what I was up to. He said, 'Sure, go right ahead!' I spent a couple of hours measuring everything I could think of, including radiuses of hood cutouts and fender curvatures, etc. These were all recorded on the Xeroxes of the Pony pictures. Satisfied I had enough, I went back to my display.


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