Gas Engine Magazine

International Collector

By Staff

405 Lincoln Avenue New Prague, Minnesota 56071

This is the story of my collection of International tractors.
You wonder why I chose Internationals. Well, the story began when I
was back on Dad’s farm. We had around 400 acres of land, maybe
a bit more. At that time we had an F-30. It was a big tractor, with
a 2-row corn picker on it. It was during the war and we did lots of
custom corn picking. Someone from Iowa came up to see the tractor.
The reason was that tractors were hard to get, and it was the same
for corn pickers. He offered my dad a good sum of money for the
tractor. My dad couldn’t turn it down, so he sold it. He gave
us one week’s time to get sour corn picked so he could pick it
up. Well, the tractor was old, naturally, and the corn picker was
old, but money was another thing. So, my dad, he gambled on it-he
sold it. We went to Jordan to an implement dealer whose name was
John Stang. My dad asked him if there was any chance of getting a
new tractor. Well, we gotta hand it to him. He said,
‘There’s about 60 people on the waiting list, but I’ll
tell you – since you bought a lot of machinery from me all the time
– the next tractor I get in, it’s going to be yours. But
you’re going to have to get it out during the night, so no-one
will see it.’ And my dad said, ‘Well, how soon do you think
this tractor will be coming?’ He said, ‘It’s been on
order now for four months. It might be here in another week, but it
might not be here for another 6 months.’

Well, it just so happens that about a week later, I went to a
dance one night about 4 or 5 miles from Jordan. When I went into
Jordan, I saw a train going through town. And on that train, on a
flatbed, there was an M International. So I followed that train up
a little bit and I noticed that the train went into a side track.
With the train going into a side track, I knew that that tractor
was going to be unloaded in Jordan. So I called my dad up and he
told me ‘You stay right there and I’ll call the implement
dealer, John Stang, up.’ We went down and unloaded it that
night and I drove her home. Well, the next morning at 5:00, I
started plowing with it. With all that land and plowing, I feel
like I was practically born and raised on that tractor!

After that, I felt like I’d like to get myself another M. I
have 35 acres and I raise Chesapeake dogs. It’s in a wooded
area, and I need a tractor to plow snow. So I started looking
around for an ‘M’. I came to the junk yard one day, and
here he had an ‘M’. So I said ‘What are you going to do
with that tractor?’ Well, the man told me he was going to junk
it out. ‘Why, what’s wrong with it?’ I asked. ‘Oh,
the motor’s shot-it’s got a bad knock in it.’ So I
offered him some money and he took me up on it, so I bought the
tractor. I got the tractor and the loader.

Then there’s another guy that helped me. His name is Roger
Sass. He’s a very good man-very intelligent and
mechanical-minded. He came over one night, we tore the engine
apart, and we fixed it. So I got an ‘M’. It’s just what
I wanted. I know that tractor from one end to the other.

Then I figured that I should watch for an ‘H’. I knew
another party who had two H’s. So I went over to him and talked
to him one day and said ‘Say, any chance of buying one of your
H’s?’ ‘Not really’, he said. ‘The H’s
I’ve got here-they’re both good tractors. ‘Course,
maybe I would sell one. All that tractor ever did was cultivate the
corn.’ And he gave me a price and I bought it.

Well after I got that home-I have a nice big pole shed to put
these tractors in – I figured now I’ve got the H, why don’t
I make the full collection?

Well, the M and the H weren’t all that bad to get, but the C
is just a little bit harder to get. I watched the newspaper and ran
onto a C, which was about 60 miles from home. I drove over there
and I purchased that tractor.

Well, then I just kept shopping around. The next tractor was
going to be an A or a B or a Cub. Well, finally I ran up to an A.
And then I heard that the B’s are hard to get. I watched the
newspapers and didn’t find it. One day I talked to a man in the
grocery store in my home town. He said ‘I heard you were
looking for a B’. I said, ‘Yeah, do you know where I can
pick one up?’ He said ‘Oh, I got one at home in my shed,
I’ll sell you.’ So I went up there and I bought that

Then I had a lull. Now comes the hard part-and the expensive
part. And that’s this little Farmall Cub. I ran a
‘wanted’ ad in the paper, I went to all the swap meets,
went to gas engine shows, looking for a Cub. The ones that I did
find were already restored and people just didn’t want to sell
them, which I don’t blame them for.

I was driving along the road one day and here was a Cub parked
along the road, about 25 miles away from home. And there was a big
‘For Sale’ sign on it. So I got the telephone number to
call the guy, talked with him over the phone, and I ended up buying
that tractor. So now I’ve got the full collection of the 40s of
the Internationals.

Now these tractors are all restored, they’re all overhauled,
in A-1 condition. And I take them to parades, I show them, a lot of
people stop in. They’ve all seen an H or they’ve seen an M,
but they never saw an A. Seems like the A is the one that’s the
rarest. I’m real happy with them. One thing I’ve learned by
purchasing these tractors: maybe it’s just my idea, but I still
say the best way to buy them is when they’re not overhauled. It
seems like when you go to purchase a tractor, so often the
tractor’s been overhauled. What do they all mean by
‘overhauled’? For everyone I bought that was
‘overhauled’, I had to go through it again myself! If you
want to buy a tractor and want the satisfaction, buy them when
they’re not running the best, so that you have to overhaul them
yourself. You know what you’re really putting into them and you
know what you’ve got. That’s still the best way to go. And
if you’re buying a tractor from a party who’s overhauled a
tractor, naturally, he’s going to charge you more for it. And
you’re paying for something that maybe you’re not

So this is my story about my collection of International
tractors. I have been collecting gas engines for over 25 years.
I’ve got various types of different brands of engines. I enjoy
all collections, but I do enjoy the tractors just a little more. My
daughter, Joanne, took the pictures and helped me line them up.
Anybody out there who wants any information on International
tractors-H, M, C, or whatever-feel free to write me or let me know.
I’ll be glad to help you out.

  • Published on Jun 1, 1987
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