My Father’s Graham Bradley Tractor
3943 15th Street Des Moines, Iowa 50313
I’ve restored a 1938 Graham Bradley tractor that my father
bought in 1938 from Sears & Roebuck in Des Moines. As the years
of WWII came along, four brothers and I went into service. My
father tried to keep up the farm but was overworked and died of
pneumonia in 1946. They sold the farm and the Graham Bradley. When
I got out of the service, everything was sold. As time went on (60
years), I wondered what happened to the tractor, and in 1998 I saw
an ad in the paper. I called the number and found out the
collection was 80 miles away. I asked when I could come to see it.
I was told anytime. So we made a date and I drove out there and
looked at the tractor and told the man this tractor belonged to my
I remember my father broke the seat off and the tractor took off
down the road with him hanging onto the steering, with his behind
down by the power take off. It turned over in a ditch and cut off
his right ear on a barbed wire fence. When we got the tractor home,
we didn’t have any money for a new seat post so Father took one
off a horse-drawn dump rake.
As I looked it over, more things were noticed that I recognized.
I bought the tractor right then and told the owner I would drive it
home. He told me it hadn’t been driven for a long time and he
would bring it down for me.
I drove it around for a year to a couple of shows, and then
decided to restore it back to original. These are pictures of it in
2000 at a street show.
I have stacks of GEM‘s but never saw a restored
Graham Bradley tractor. I saw one or two for sale but not a picture
of one restored.
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