Left to right: John Deere 1940 HN, one of only 1007 made; 1950 BN high clearance tractor; GN with 104 inch rear axle all part of Earl Scott's collection of antique tractors.
3203 Norton Road Radnor, Ohio 43066
Earl Scott grew Lip on a farm in the Burnt Pond, Fontanelle Road area in southwestern Delaware County, deep in the heart of Ohio. From the beginning of his farming career he has used John Deere equipment. Like many a collector of antique farming equipment, he hated to see fine relics from the past sold for scrap, squirreled away in barns, or rotting in overgrown farm yards. It became his mission to rescue some of the finest examples. Restoring these tractors is a hobby Earl enjoys with his son Troy. He takes such pleasure in acquiring John Deere tractors that he admits, 'Some people say we've got green blood.'
'When you get one tractor done you're proud of it, and proud of yourself,' Troy says.
Earl adds, 'After you get them completely done, it seems like they get right into your heart or something.' Could this be how a true 'green' collector gets his first infusion of that 'green blood?'
The collecting bug first bit Earl when he bought a 1929 Model A Ford car and restored it. He and his wife Avalyn (who died in 1986), their daughter Teresa, and Troy rode in many parades in that car, just for the fun of it. In all the time he has had the car, it has never given him much mechanical trouble. Recently, at the wedding of Sam and Janice Foos's daughter, Earl made several trips chauffeuring the wedding couple and wedding party from the house to the meadow where the wedding took place. This thoughtful act made the day especially pictures que. Mr. Foos was among the neighbors who helped harvest Earl's crops after his recent stroke, which made some of Earl's days pretty special, too.
Soon after he had restored the car, Earl found a 1929 John Deere GP tractor in Zanesfield, Ohio. When the GP had been restored, he used it on his farm to pull a hay baler. Troy was only six years old when he learned to drive that tractor.
Earl was hooked by then, and whenever he learned of a special old tractor 'priced decent,' he would buy it. He learned to recognize rare tractors and was happy to run across one. A John Deere Model DI, with a serial number proving it was the only model DI manufactured with a wooden cab, is the rarest tractor he has owned. When be bought it the wooden cab had rotted away. He sold it to Barry Thomas, who lives in Plain City, Ohio.
Tractor by tractor his collection grew to more than fifty. Some of his finds were good only for spare parts, but he ferreted out other choice antiques along the way. These form a unique collection which he and his family, as well as those lucky enough to see them on display, continue to enjoy.
He restored his HN in 1987, intensively sanding for hours after his day's work was done, then painstakingly painting back its respectable 'green' coat. He took it to the Two-Cylinder Club's Expo I in Waterloo, Iowa. Later, when the John Deere Company, headquartered in Moline, Illinois, needed an HN for a special display, a Two-Cylinder Club member put them in touch with Earl, and his HN was displayed at headquarters for nine months. Earl and his wife Donna attended the John Deere Company's 150th anniversary celebration. Those 'green tractors' came from all over the U. S. A., and visitors came from as far away as England, Australia and New Zealand to witness this special event.
Earl then exhibited the HN at the Two-Cylinder Club's Expo II. The 'N' in HN stands for narrow, since the tractor has narrowly set rear wheels and a single front wheel making it ideal for cultivating closely-spaced row crops.
Earl and Donna attended the 80th anniversary of the John Deere Training Center based in Columbus, Ohio. This is where mechanics from the central Ohio area come for training in the repair of John Deere equipment. Earl has a large collection of John Deere memorabilia, and eagerly adds to it at every opportunity. He and Donna noticed the cardboard window signs in yellow or green with a special 80th anniversary logo printed on them; the signs assigned the buses for the use of either show patrons or exhibitors and dealers. By the end of the exhibition the signs were disappearing fast, and Earl wanted one. Ordinarily a quiet man, he uncharacteristically took off after one bus which still boasted a sign in its window. Others had tried for it, but the robust woman driver had fended off all comers. Earl tried some fast talk and bartering, to the cheers of bus passengers and bystanders alike. Finally he made an offer she couldn't refuse: clasping his sign and his pants, he handed over his John Deere suspenders!
Earl s collection also includes a 1937 John Deere AW (only 125 of these were manufactured), the 1940 HN, of which 1007 came off the line, and a 1950 John Deere BN High Clearance tractor. The BN has a rear axle measurement of 114 inches and stands three inches taller than the standard B. It was used to cultivate sugar beets. He has a John Deere GN with a single front wheel and a rear axle measuring 104 inches. There is a formidable 1928 or 79 Wallis, a 1931 six-cylinder Rumely Oil Pull, and a 1926 20-35 Rumely with a 17-gallon oil cooling system. He says there is no 'winter freeze-up' with this tractor!
His collection includes a 1953 red Cock shutt 50, built at Brantford, Ontario, Canada. Other Cock shutt tractors, painted orange, were made under the Co-Op brand name and were sold in this country by Farm Bureau.
His Global prototype was made in 1950. Only eight were constructed, and three are known to exist today. These tractors had consecutive serial numbers, and Earl's bears the middle number. Mr. Klingel and Howard Barry, both of Marion County, own the other two. These tractors were constructed upstairs in a building owned by the Huber Manufacturing Company in Marion, Ohio, by a company planning to market them all over the world. Earl says it resembles an old Huber grader. While a shortened Huber Maintainer frame was used for this project, no Huber tractors were manufactured after the second world war. The story goes that, about the time production was to begin, one of the partners was shot dead in a bar in Springfield, Ohio, bringing to an end this scrap of antique tractor history.
Altogether Earl has restored more than fifteen tractors. He has ordered new fenders for his latest project, a John Deere 620 orchard tractor. A scale model of this tractor is a highly prized possession.
He bought a John Deere LA for his wife, Donna, but her real favorite is the 1919 Titan. It is currently the oldest tractor in his collection, and was built mostly of cast iron, weighing in at about 6,000 pounds. When anyone asks if it is for sale, he refers them to his wife, and she says flatly, 'No!'
Earl joined the Two-Cylinder Club in 1983 and his membership card carries the number # 111. He has taken tractors to all three of their meets. Earl helped to organize the Marion County Steam and Gas Engine Society in 1978, and is a charter member. He is currently president of this group. The Society's 1993 feature is John Deere, which will be commemorated with a limited edition toy truck bank. All John Deere collectors are invited to attend and exhibit at the Society's 16th annual Steam and Gas Show which will be held at the Marion County Fairground in Marion, Ohio, June 17, 18, 19 and 20 (Father's Day). Admission is still just $2.00, and the 8th annual Henry Hardin Memorial Vintage and Classic Motorcycle Show, an integral part of the show consisting of as many as one hundred exhibits, is free. These two cooperative shows represent the greatest entertainment bar-gain of the summer.
The show also features antique tractor pulls, a national association kiddie pedal pull, fiddler's contest, and a large flea market. This will be their second annual craft show with lots of demonstrations and vendors in costumes of the 1800s.
For information contact: Earl Scott (513) 642-0574, or Don Willson (614) 482-2506, or send a self-addressed stamped business size envelope to: In-formation, 3203 Norton Road, Radnor, Ohio 43066.