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The Story Behind My 1955 Ford 850

| July/August 1995

  • Ford 850

  • Ford 850

  • Ford 850
  • Ford 850

2821 Wilmington Road Lebanon, Ohio 45036-9748

This is my 1955 Ford 850, serial number 22047. I have a story behind the tractor that spans over 45 years of enjoying being around tractors.

I was raised around a 9N Ford and a 1952 Ford 8N tractor. After graduating from college and spending many years teaching school, in 1980 I started looking around for a 1952 Ford 8N. I could not find one in southern Ohio. I finally found a 1955 Ford 850 that had been mechanically overhauled and was for sale. At Christmas of 1981 I bought the Ford tractor and a grader blade. Since that time I have bought a Dearborn 2-bottom plow, a 6-foot pickup disc and a lift pole. I have tried to restore all these pieces of equipment mechanically and cosmetically since that date. In 1986 I found a gentleman who agreed to steam clean and paint my tractor. He did a great job. We also got the radiator rebuilt when we had all the sheet metal off the tractor.

In January of 1991, my wife bought me a book called Ford Tractors by Robert Pripps. In the book I noticed a bearded gentleman by the name of Bill Ficken, manager of Strojney Implement of Mosinee, Wisconsin, in a picture holding a crankshaft for a Ford. I wrote the company and a few weeks later the gentleman called me. I asked him if he could find a lift arm for the left side of the three point hitch on a Ford 850. He said yes, so I sent him the money and I received the arm a few days later. The old one had been welded. I then continued to search for two radius rods. The ones on the tractor had been welded because the first owner had a loader on the tractor. I finally found two radius rods in a tractor graveyard near Springfield, Ohio. I carefully sanded, under-coated and painted the three new pieces of iron for the tractor and put them on.

This made the tractor look better in my eyes. In 1993 I needed to get a new rim because the calcium chloride had eaten the rim badly. When I went to the tire shop in Lebanon, Ohio, I learned that both rear tubes were rotten and leaking the chemical. So, I put on two new rear tubes, tires and one new rim. I did not put the chemical back in the tires. I then cleaned, primed and painted the rims before the tires were mounted.

It is now January of 1995 and I finally have my 1955 Ford 850 looking and running nearly as it was when it was new. I used it to plow, disc and cultivate our large garden. I also use the grader blade to clean out our rather long lane in the winter when the snow gets deep. I really enjoy being around the tractor and actually using it almost daily. I also have shown the tractor at Old Timer's Days in Xenia, Ohio, and Caesar's Creek Pioneer Days in Waynesville, Ohio. My last project is to find two ribbed 6:00 x 16 front tires for the tractor. I cannot find anybody who can help me now. I have talked to Miller Tire of Wauseon, Ohio, and they think they will be able to help me in the near future.


Gas Engine Magazine A_M 16Gas Engine Magazine is your best source for tractor and stationary gas engine information.  Subscribe and connect with more than 23,000 other gas engine collectors and build your knowledge, share your passion and search for parts, in the publication written by and for gas engine enthusiasts! Gas Engine Magazine brings you: restoration stories, company histories, and technical advice. Plus our Flywheel Forum column helps answer your engine inquiries!

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