R.R.2,Box 239 Hughesville, Pennsylvania 17737
Stewart Hill of R. R. 2, Hughesville, Pennsylvania 17737 is the proud owner of this David Bradley model 917.5751.
Stewart Hill and his wife Sandra were en route to a flea market in northern Pennsylvania in the summer of '96, when all of a sudden there it was: this David Bradley tractor model 917.5751 with several attachments, sitting in a front yard in the country with a For Sale sign on it!
The original owner, who had had it since 1947, was now too old to use it any longer. Stewart knew that it was one to grab because it had been garage-kept, and in many ways was in good shape. Remarkably, the original paint was not pitted as they often get, and the original tires and handle grips were in excellent shape.
A little wheeling and dealing followed, and shortly thereafter the David Bradley was on the back of Stewart's truck.
Stewart Hill, who is an avid old tractor collector/enthusiast, gave the engine a good tune-up, and after matching the original colors as closely as possible, gave it a complete professional paint job. Now this prize piece in his collection cannot be bought for any price. The pictures can't do justice to the quality and the meticulousness of the paint job this tractor received. The paint that was used cost $19.50 per quart. Stewart, who had professional painting experience in his early years at the Ford garage, painted everything to perfection, down to the engine, the frame, the gas tank, and even the attachments. It now looks like new according to our neighbor, Parvin, who has had a David Bradley since 1951, and who now has two of them.
The tires on this David Bradley are the original 600x16 Allstate farm implement tires. Stewart brags he has the original V-belt with 'David Bradley' in the rubber (although he has taken it off the tractor for safekeeping).
Stewart Hill, my dad, a self-employed small engine mechanic and salesman, opened up shop in the garage under his house in 1960, originally selling and repairing lawn mowers. Later his business expanded into chain saws, tillers, and garden tractors. In the '70s he was deep into the snowmobile and motorcycle businesses. Now, this still one man and wife business has settled back into the original lawn mowers, chain saws, weed cutters, and most recently old tractors.
His passion for restoring old tractors began in the early '90s. He has restored many other David Bradley and Bolens tractors, and when he runs out of space in his garage, can occasionally be talked into selling one of his restorations.
Besides his own collection of six or seven tractors, Stewart has accumulated quite a collection of D. B. and Bolens parts, factory owner's manuals, factory sales literature, Sears farm catalogs, and a whole collection of attachments for the David Bradley, which Stewart is only too proud to list: the corn planter, garden plow, cultivators, spike-toothed harrows, lawn roller, rotary lawn mower, reel-type mower, sickle bar mower, weed and brush mower, cord wood saw, disc harrow, sulky, and cart.
Stewart tries not to miss any tractor show within driving range, and once drove 3 hours one way to buy a David Bradley tractor he had a lead on.
Many people take their dogs for a walk, but my dad's golden retriever, Reba, rides in style around our field in the cart behind the David Bradley.
My brother and I keep telling Dad that he and our neighbor, Parvin, should line their David Bradley's up in our alley and drag race them, but for the results of that race you'll have to wait for some future issue.
I don't know much about tractors myself, but I just enjoy hearing that nostalgic and unmistakable 'click, click, click' at the end of each row of the garden every spring.