Some History

Tractors are not strange machines to me, particularly Ford tractors.  Growing up on our Iowa farm, we had two 8-N’s that did all the fieldwork for our 80 acres.  I spent many hours dragging various implements through our fields and moved a lot of snow in the winter with those tractors.  While I did assist with some maintenance, Dad was the mechanic.  I remember many winters with one or the other of the tractors in our tuck-under garage, disassembled for some type of repair, parts replacement, or a complete overhaul. 


When Dad died in 1991 I briefly considered selling those tractors.  Thankfully, I instead found a book on old Ford tractors and realized what gems these machines really were.  Fortunately, Mom chose to stay on the farm instead of moving into town and my siblings[2] and I felt a responsibility to oversee the outside work.  The land was leased to my cousin for farming, but the homestead and non-farm land was always in need of some type of maintenance.  Instead of selling those tractors, we decided to have the older of the two completely restored and I began acquiring more. 


First came an 850 with a mounted loader.  We really did need a loader tractor and this seemed like a good fit.  About a year later I had the engine and mechanical parts of this 800 series completely rebuilt and, in essence, now had a new tractor.  Several years later I had the opportunity to acquire a diesel 951 and added it to the growing collection.  The diesel looked rough and, although it ran, it needed mechanical work.  I figured this would be a good project for me once I retired and had the time to spend on it.  Living in Texas and trying to maintain a collection of tractors on an Iowa farm was not going to work while I was still employed here full-time.  Even getting up to the farm five or six times a year was not enough to get any serious mechanical work done.  There was always too much else to do and a major mechanical project seemed like too big a risk to tackle when I knew I would have to get on an airplane and head south in a day or two.  I’ve discovered through the years that every major project always has a surprise or two that adds time for completion. This was to be no exception.

[2] Principally, my brother, Gary, and my older sister, Sharyl.

Subpages (1): Beginning the Work