| January/February 1987

  • John deere tractor

  • John deere tractor

Big John's Mature Tractors, 16950 SE Division Portland, OR 97236

About six years ago I got the bug for older tractors and began restoring as a hobby to use up some of my spare time. Some hobby! There is very little spare time now. As do many others, I harbor a special love for the reliable old 'Poppin Johnnies'. As a young man in northwest Pennsylvania, I fell in love with every tractor I came in contact with; second only of course to the lovely girls at school. Living in a foster home gave me ample opportunity to earn part of my keep by doing chores and custom work for some of the more prosperous farmers of the area.

One of my employers had a John Deere model A, a model B, and a model H, and two teams of horses. He decided to acquire another tractor, and bought a Massey Harris 101 Senior. I was pretty excited when he had it delivered and told me to put it to work. I spent many hours in the field with that smooth running machine. I have always enjoyed the sound and response of the six cylinder power, the design of the tractor, and the welcome comfort of the 'velvet ride' seat. It didn't take me very long to figure out that there were other good tractors besides the popular green and yellow that certainly seemed to dominate our area.

While restoring several John Deere and International models, I kept looking for a Massey 101. After four years and many miles, numerous phone calls and some frustration, I located one worth dragging home. Naturally it was located only twenty miles from my home.

The enclosed photo shows the results of our efforts. I will always consider my 1943 Massey Harris 101 Sr. one of the finest tractors of its time. I have completed a Massey 22 and partially restored a Massey 101 Jr. Now I am considering a Massey Harris 44 or 44-6 if I can locate one. There are not very many in this area. My nostalgia trip is with older wheel tractors. I thank my wife Birdie for her help and patience. Actually I think she is numb to the situation, but cannot understand why.