Restoration Of An INTERSTATE TRACTOR


| April/May 1988



Reanacoolagh, Lismore County Waterford, Eire

You have already read about how I came by the Interstate Tractor (GEM January 1988); that was in the summer of 1973. I am now talking about the late 70's, about '78 or '79; at this time we still had the old tractor.

We never did a whole lot of ploughing with it because then it was a 4-bottom plough and always needed someone seated on it to work the levers in order to let the plough into the ground at one headland and take it out at the other. When we would use it we would get to plough quite a lot of ground in one day.

In the autumn of '78 at a ploughing match in Lismore, I had entered for the 'Vintage Class' with my helper Micky on the plough. Things started off very well, we opened a very nice straight middle with the four ploughs, but halfway through the return closing the tractor cut out, the engine stopped. There was some firing from it but I thought that the engine was just cold and was failing to vapourise the paraffin, so I switched it over to petrol after draining the carburetor. We started up again and began to move on but, alas, it again began to fire even on petrol.

Around this time my son Liam had taken up employment in an agricultural sales and repairs garage in a nearby town, so on seeing us in trouble, he came over to us, as he now knows a bit about such machines. Also around were a number of spectators, all with their own ideas about what could be wrong with it.

I began to test it. First the sparks while Liam turned the engine over by hand; I tried all four leads- nothing. The tractor had a 'Wico Magneto', and if such a magneto could be got in Ireland there would have been no problem, but no, so we had no choice but to pull out of the competition. We stayed to watch the rest of the ploughing and then loaded our whole outfit onto a transport truck to bring it home in.