International Collector

| June/July 1987

International tractors

This line-up of International tractors is the collection of Ernest Wermerskirchen, 405 Lincoln Avenue N., New Prague, Minnesota 56071. Mr. Wermerskirchen sent us a taped account of his early experiences and his growing interest in Internationals, which yo

Lawrence E. Bliss

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.