The Story Behind My 1955 Ford 850

By Staff
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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.

I hope to continue to keep my tractor and equipment running and
looking as if it was all new. I have enjoyed the tractor immensely
the last 13 years, and I have learned a lot about tractors and the
people who love them like I do. The tractors and people are great.
I am the third owner of this tractor and I intend keeping it until
I pass it on to my son and daughter. They will sell it immediately,
I am sure.

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