MY JOHN DEERE COLLECTION
P.O. Box 876 Elmer, New Jersey 08318
Five years ago I became interested in old tractors. This
interest was sparked by friends who were farmers and restorers of
old farm equipment. Since I enjoy tinkering, I decided to restore
an old tractor. Hearing there was a 1934 John Deere GP available in
southern Delaware, I hitched a trailer to my pickup and headed
Surprisingly the tractor was in pretty good shape. It was in
running condition. The seller had purchased this GP 27 years before
for $325. It took me about six months to restore it to original
The experience of restoration fascinated me, and I found I had
‘caught the bug.’
The hit and miss engines I saw at fairs and farm sales began to
intrigue me. I learned John Deere offered a 1 HP, 3 HP and a 6 HP
engine. The search was on!
Placing ads in local papers, I began to receive calls about gas
engines for sale. If the price was right I purchased them. I
learned a lot this way. Then one gentleman called and had a 1 HP
John Deere for sale. In my haste to own one, I purchased it. WHAT A
WRECK IT WAS!! Not having a lot of the parts, the restoration of
this engine became a continuing education.
I heard of another fellow out of state who has the entire set of
John Deeres, kerosene, sparkplug, everything. I asked if he had a 3
HP John Deere for sale. With a couple of phone conversations, him
trusting me with money, and me trusting him with condition, I
bought it sight unseen. We met at an auction that was somewhat
between us for the exchange. It was in good condition and within a
month it was fully restored.
A year went by before I found the 6 HP John Deere I was willing
to buy. I learned of a gentleman in Pennsylvania who was
considering selling one. We scheduled a meeting at the SteamOrama
consignment sale in Pennsylvania. He didn’t live too far away
from the grounds. After the sale we went to his place. To my
surprise he had a collection of engines a person could not believe
big, little, common, rare, all types, and a couple hundred of them,
if not more! After the two hour tour we got to the 6 HP. It was all
apart but restorable. After a little trading and some
‘green’ the 6 HP was mine! It was an enjoyable ride
I knew the 6 HP was rare. It needed a part. I thought the
governor catch was probably impossible to find. I found another 6
HP in the area, and with the family trusting me with the part, I
had one milled. I was happy to return it undamaged! Within a week
of assembling the 6 HP it was ready to come alive. Gas, oil, and
water and some cranking, the 6 HP had come to life.
With the collection completed, lugging the three engines around
would be a task. I began thinking of a way to transport them
together. After some brain storming, I decided on a type of wagon.
I wanted the wagon to have somewhat of an antique look, so I took
the idea of an old gas engine cart I had seen. I built the frame
and added John Deere spoked wheels. After some welding and bolting
it took shape. With the wagon completed, I bolted each engine atop
two oak beams. The project came out well. I have received many
compliments on it.
To this day I am still trying to enlarge my collection of John
Deere engines. Thanks to Jim Adomis, Clark Libbe, Olbrich Farms,
and Everett Poole their help made this project possible.
All of these pieces of machinery are part of the John Deere
collection owned by Steven Schalick, P.O. Box 876, Elmer, New
Jersey 083 18. At left, the 1934 GP that ‘infected’ him
with the collecting bug. Above, his 1, 6, and 3 HP Model E’s on
the wagon designed especially for their display. Below, another of
his treasures. For Steven’s story, see ‘My John Deere
Collection’ inside this issue.
Keeping the Doodlebug Project Alive
Farmers from the 30s to the 50s built makeshift tractors called doodlebugs from available parts and pieces found on the farm.
Custom Built Cub Cadet Buggy
Check out Forest Spaulding’s custom-built buggy pieced together using several parts from a cub cadet and various other tractors.
Maytag Tractor, 29 Years Later
The son of the builder of a Maytag tractor featured in a 1989 article gives us an update.