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
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.