Poverty Hill Special

| July/August 1987

  • 1936 John Deere Model
    1936 John Deere Model

  • 1936 John Deere Model

Rt. 1, Box 97, McGregor, IA 52157

To build my own tractor was a boyhood dream. When I had built up an assortment of tools, I found a 1936 three/five horse variable governor International engine. With frequent trips to salvage yards and farm discard piles I assembled my 'toy'. A 1914 John Deere manure spreader shaft made my drive shaft. A bull gear from an old grain binder became part of the machine. The seat is from a 1936 John Deere Model A-the steering is off an old McCormick Deering tractor. A canopy is adapted from an old horse drawn drag. The headlight is from a 1932 Model A Ford. There are parts from rakes, combines, drags, manure spreaders-a little bit of everything. When I used a steering sector from a self-propelled combine I forgot that the combine steered from behind. With my first trial run I ran into my new pickup. I tossed and turned many nights planning how to make a reverse gear. The engine slides back and forth on a track.

My son brought an old howitzer shell from Fort Riley, Kansas. This made an exhaust for my tractor. I have a siren bought from a couple of area kids who preferred not to tell where they got a police siren.

My 'Poverty Hill Special' has been in many area parades and has given my grandchildren many fun rides. Tourists ask me to stop and pose for photos. I guess I enjoy this too.