My ‘Johnny Popper’ Tractor

By Staff
article image

320 East 15 th Street, Wahoo, Nebraska 68066

Our ‘Johnny Popper’ was built in the late summer of
1992. The tractor is something I’ve always been wanting to

Power for the tractor is a 1945 John Deere 1 horsepower gas
engine. The frame-steering linkage and rear end are from an early
Sears garden tractor. The power from the engine is transferred to a
side pulley on the rear end by a V-belt and a hand controlled idler
pulley. The tractor has one forward speed which is about as fast as
normal walking speed. Prior to painting the engine, I rebuilt the
igniter, put new rings on the piston, installed a new oil pan and
cleaned up the magneto and recharged it. That was really all that
needed to be done to the engine mechanically. The engine did have a
crack about four inches long on the bottom of the water hopper,
right through the water drain hole. It was repaired by Rick
Gustafson of rural Wahoo.

I finished the tractor just in time for one of the last shows of
the year Old Trusty at Clay Center, Nebraska. As soon as I cranked
over the engine at the show, my son Michael jumped on the tractor
and drove it around the Clay Center Fairgrounds all day.

This year we plan to attend more shows with our ‘Johnny
Popper.’ One show we will be sure to go to is the Camp Creek
Threshing Show, two miles east of Waverly, Nebraska July 17 &
18, 1993.

Gas Engine Magazine
Gas Engine Magazine
Preserving the History of Internal Combustion Engines