By Staff
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Overland Park, Kansas 66212

My husband belonged to the Gas Engine Club for several years and
had accumulated several engines when he decided he would like to
have a tractor too. Due to the efforts of a friend, he was able to
acquire one.

Roland Spillman is from a small town called Moran, Kansas. He
has relatives and friends in that community that have been farmers
all their lives and some had kept their old tractors. Roland found
an old tractor in a field and arranged for my husband, Mike to buy
it for only $50.00. When it arrived in our front yard, it
didn’t look like it was worth that much!

Harold Beach, the friend that introduced Mike to the Club,
helped him bring it home, pushed it into the backyard (it
wouldn’t run). It was quite a thing for someone to see an old
beat-up tractor in our suburban backyard.

It remained there and he managed to work on it enough the first
year to get it running. Then Mike and Harold entered their old
tractors and a trailer of old engines in the Overland Park Fall
Parade. Since the tractors looked so run-down, they only got
honorable mention that first year.

During the next year, Mike decided to restore his old 1940 John
Deere completely. He took it apart, sanded and sandblasted,
polished, painted and reassembled for many hours and days. He would
try to protect it from the elements with a plastic canopy which was
constantly falling over whenever the wind came up. Somehow he
accomplished what seemed impossible and the tractor was ready in
time for the next Fall parade.

Our 16-year-old daughter, Sandy, drove and Mike and our
14-year-old daughter, Sharon, rode on the back. They were entered
in the Antique Car Division of the parade as there isn’t any
category for farm machinery in our community. That year he won a
fourth place ribbon which I proudly framed for him. The next year
he won a third place and the next a fourth place again. Four
ribbons in all!

As an added incentive this year to keep entering the parade, the
local TV station televised the parade in color, featuring the
tractors and the wagon and trailer with the old engines running. It
was fun to watch it all over again on television.

The John Deere now sits in the garage between parades and looks
like new.

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Preserving the History of Internal Combustion Engines