| November/December 1994

  • Far-mall F-12 tractor

  • Far-mall F-12 tractor

2461 Oak Hollow Drive, Kissimmee, Florida 34744

For the past 35-plus years, a 1937 Far-mall F-12 has stood in a machine shed in rural Lake Mills, Iowa, only to be used in the fall of the year to operate the mechanical wagon hoist and grain elevator during crop harvest. It was also used, on occasion, on the hay rope when pulling hay up into the barn. In the past few years, it has only been run on occasion to keep it in running shape.

I don't know when the F-12 was first purchased, but it was Grandpa Tostem's and passed down to my dad in the early sixties. This past summer when our family was in Iowa on vacation, my son, 13, had to drive it. He mastered the ability to crank it and start it with only a turn most of the time. After some lengthy talks and deep thought, my son Mark and I became the new owners of this F-12, with one stipulation. It should not be sold, but stay in the family.

The tractor has a single front wheel, which is listed in the original manual (which is still with the tractor), as an option. The rear tires are of the late 1930 style and may be the original ones that came from the factory. There are some changes that were made at least 30 years ago: the gas tank has been changed, the steering wheel support post was raised about 6 inches, a rubber U-joint was installed near the steering gear, and the clutch peddle was raised two inches for driver comfort. Other than these changes, the F-12 seems to be completely stock.

On the first weekend in October, with a borrowed trailer from a good friend and John Deere owner Leroy Dupree, I made a fast six-day trip from Kissimmee, Florida, to Lake Mills, Iowa1575 miles round-trip. The trip was totally uneventful both ways, two days up and two days to return home with our F-12.

Now we went into high gear to recondition and restore the tractor and be ready for a show October 29-30, in the nearby town of St. Cloud, Florida.