The 1939 Styled John Deere Model A Tractor

| June/July 1988

  • John Deere Model A
    The 1939 John Deere Model A, serial number 479547, as bought. There were 11,000 of these 1939 year models built, serial numbers 477000 to 487999.

  • John Deere Model A

RR #6 Box I67 Frankfort, Indiana 4604I

One day a friend came up to me at the Rough and Tumble Show at Kinzers, PA, in August, 1986, and asked me if I wanted to buy a tractor. He named three that he had for sale. The only one that I was interested in was a styled Model A. I asked him what year it was, but he didn't know. I told him that if it was a four-speed, either 1939 or 1940, I would be interested.

In the early spring of 1987 I went to see him. We went to see his tractors. But his tractor turned out to be just like my 1945 Model A, a six-speed of the years from 1941 to 1947. So I didn't progress any farther with any deal.

On July 11, 1987 I, along with many other members of the Clinton County Antique Machinery Club, began to move tractors into the Clinton County Fairgrounds for our tractor show in connection with the annual 4-H Fair at Frankfort, Indiana. There were 105 registered tractors there along with other drills, wagons, planters, plows, and a model Case steam traction engine. I took my old GP, AR, and BR tractors.

There were three tractors with 'For Sale' signs on them. One was a 1940 Model A. A closer look showed it to be a 1939 Model A tractor. It was all painted up like new, but there were a few things that I noticed that it needed.

All John Deere historians know that the 1939 Model A is merely a 1938 Model A in styled form. It had the old style engine and transmission. The 1940 has the new style engine like the 1941 to 1947 six-speed tractors, yet it is only four speeds. A brief breakdown of them is: