Is It Or Is It Not an Unstyled H?

By Staff
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3166 155th Avenue, Morley, Michigan 49336.

An UNSTYLED H? Nope! That’s what I told a friend of mine,
Lee Hawley, when he asked me that question. Not to my knowledge,
except for the experimental model. Lee, not being I familiar with
some models at that time, it was an understandable question. I have
purchased several old I JD’s over the years for parts and then
end up putting them back together and getting them to run again.
Maybe that’s why I’ve been accused of having ‘Green
Blood’ and my wife had to build a new pole barn. But Lee’s
question started my wheels turning. I turned to Lee and said,
‘Wait just a minute. Drop everything!’ Out behind the
garage we went, where a 1939 JD H had been sitting for about a
year. I had bought it for parts, but hadn’t disassembled it
yet, mostly because I hate to see those tractors (any make tractor)
scrapped out. Although this 39 H was complete, it was rough. The
engine was seized, cracked in an L shape five inches in both
directions and separated 1/8‘, and also
cracked in the combustion chamber. The sheet metal was junk, and
the cam shaft was worn so badly the rockers were adjusted all the
way in. After studying it over a few minutes, I said, ‘I think
we can do it, make an unstyled H.’ A few weeks went by, but we
finally got started.

First, to make spoke wheels, we took off a wheel, cut out the
center, saving the hub of course. About this time Gary Hansen,
another friend of mine from Greenville, Michigan, drove in. After a
question or two we explained our plan. He looked things over a
minute, and said, ‘Sounds good. Let’s build some
spokes.’ That was about a year ago. So, to shorten up this
story, I worked off and on through the winter and most of this past
summer, several times thinking it just wasn’t worth it. It was
just too far gone. But finally, success!

About a week before our local show at Blanchard, Michigan, I
decided to put some paint on it. Not to forget the creation of the
front steering post, which I cut off the top gear box and welded in
a piece of well pipe. Then we made a hood, the front name plate and
many other things. I don’t want to leave out my dad, Marvin
Richardson, who came to my rescue a few times, especially the night
before the show to help me get things back together after the paint
job. To sum up this story, it was worth it all, especially at the
show. Every time I would look over in the tractor area, there would
be several fellas standing around it, smiling and scratching their
heads, knowing that there wasn’t any such animal, but yet they
were looking at one.

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