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My First John Deere Tractor: 1944- LA, Serial Number 8626

Author Photo
By Louis Keys | Oct 1, 1998

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7111 Sun Valley Drive Louisville, Kentucky 40272

I have been a collector of gas engines for several years and
have an assortment of engines, including a 1? HP John Deere Model
E, but I have always wanted a John Deere tractor.

My wife and I went to our Homecoming at Hodgenville, Kentucky,
where I met her cousin, Charlie Burba. After the meal was over,
Charlie invited us over to his farm. He showed me his tobacco crop
which was at least two or three acres, and also showed me some of
his cattle. When we went back to the barn, I noticed he had several
tractors, including a John Deere LA. It caught my eye, and I told
Charlie that I would like to have it to restore. He said he might
consider selling it because it was in bad shape and leaked oil on
the tobacco plants when he cultivated.

About a month went by, and we were visiting Charlie and his wife
again. Out of the ‘clear blue yonder’ Charlie told me what
he wanted for the old John Deere. We made a deal, and the next day
my brother and I made the 50-mile trip to pick up my John Deere
tractor.

That was in August 1997. I brought the tractor home and started
the restoration. I went to the Portland, Indiana, Engine Show and
purchased a lot of the parts needed to start the job. I worked on
it all winter in my spare time.

Thanks to the help of Ronnie Summers, who helped with the
painting and also gave me some good advice, I was able to get it
completed in early April 1998. I will have it at several shows this
season, and hope to see all my John Deere friends there.

The pictures show the JD before and after the restoration.

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