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Massey Discussion Forums :: Massey Talk :: Family tractors etc. View modes: 
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Posted: 2/9/2013 5:59:43 AM
   

Family tractors etc.

I thought it might be worth starting a new thread which will perhaps have wide appeal.

What about FAMILY TRACTORS ETC? 

I thought it would be good for us to record family tractors, implements, combines etc from past generations of our families that we still own.  I propose that we deliberately exclude family tractors etc that we have only memories and photos of.

If this thread goes well then perhaps we can start another one on Tractors remembered .  There must be a large number of photos out there depicting tractors that are no longer in the family or have simply gone to the great scrap collector in the sky.  Feel free to start this thread someone.

To start the thread off here is a shot of my 1937 green wide front Massey-Harris Challenger which used to belong to my great uncle Benjamin.  He gave it me in 1968 just before he retired.  We had to drag it from out of the hedge but he declared it to be a very good tractor.  He said that they had re-sleeved and pistoned it but never used it again.  It looked awful - we had to pull branches out of it and the mudguards and bonnet were rotted away.  "But look he said we have put oil down the plug holes every year".  He duly cranked it over to prove the point and that it still had good compression. 

I got it home, had the magneto serviced and away she went.  We have since got it back to its present condition and it is an ace starter on the crank.  It is also a very rare example of a Challenger on 10 inch steel rear wheels.  When my folks were retiring and I had no space of my own to store it I sold it to Malcolm - my first meeting with him.  I asked him to give me first chance if ever he wanted to sell it.  In due course (10 years or so) I bought it back off him!

I look forward to contributions from many of you with your surviving family tractors

John


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Posted: 2/9/2013 10:55:30 AM
   

RE:Family tractors etc.

Here are recent pictures of my 1135 that I bought new on Jan 31, 1973, traded in my 1970 1130 and paid $2060 to boot.  Sounds cheap, but corn was only $1/bu.

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Posted: 2/9/2013 10:59:44 AM
   

RE:Family tractors etc.

I like the idea, John.  First, we'll start with my Grandpa Bush's 1952 Massey-Harris 44, which he always called "Old Sam".   I spent at least as much time in the field on this one as I did my Dad's 1953 M-H 44 as a kid growing up on the farm.

Grandpa sold this 44 to a friend of the family in the early 1970's.  That friend continued to use it on his small farm into the 1980's.  I bought it back from him in 1987, and restored it in 1991. 

I just realized that I don't have a nicely posed photo of this one.  Need to remedy that this summer.  Here is a shot of it at a Massey show in Southern Indiana, and one of it enjoying a bit of a workout at the Great Planting by Massey-Harris in 2001.

JB

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Posted: 2/9/2013 11:15:30 AM
   

RE:Family tractors etc.

The other Massey family tractor I still have is Grandpa Bush's 1962 MF 35.  I remember when Grandpa traded in his Ferguson TO-20 for the new MF 35.  I also remember really enjoying the two-stage clutch on the MF 35 when using the "bush hog" (rotary cutter). 

That same friend of the family bought the 35 in 1983 - before I had gotten bit by the old tractor bug and started my collection.  The family friend passed away in 2004, and he had told his widow that I had first option on the tractor.  Of course I bought it from her then.

I am very fortunate to have a photo of Grandpa with the MF 35 taken in 1975, the spring that I put out the last crop before heading off to work at Caterpillar.  I am including that photo here, along with one I took when I bought it back in 2004.

The MF 35 hasn't been "restored", but has been sorta repainted a time or two over the years.  I use this one a lot around the farm for running the "bush hog", grading the lane, and other odds and ends.  It still starts right up and runs just like it did when new.

JB

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Posted: 2/11/2013 12:16:26 PM
   

RE:Family tractors etc.

This is another tractor I have that used to belong to the same great uncle Benjamin.

It's a single front GREEN Challenger of 1937 vintage.  It is very near to the end of the serial numbers for these tractors and we think that it was painted red to clear stocks before the red Challengers came on the scene.  It was sold off at his retirement sale in 1968 and I lost track of it for about 20 years. Green paint shows under the red in places.

It had gone to a scrap dealer.  Dad and I did try to buy it from him a few weeks later put he had a 400% mark up on what he had paid!  But fortunately another farmer subsequently bought it from him with a view to restoring it.  I eventually tracked it down but it took another 10 years to buy it back.  The farmer had never done anything with it other than, mercifully, store it dry in a shed. 

When I finally recovered it it didn't take much to get it going again.  The bonnet and petrol tank had rotted away.  I fitted a replacement bonnet and patched the petrol tank.  As you can see the rear tyres are original style Firestones and the new front tyre I fitted is a faithful copy of what was originally fitted to them.

John Lennie worked for my uncle and used to drive the tractor for him.  It was especially used for pulling a big 4 wheel, in line, Jones baler fitted with david Brown engine which weighed about 3 tons.  But it was easy to tow 4 wheel trailers behind it and load the bales straight on.  They baled 100s of acres of straw together and my uncle liked this particular tractor because the large single front squashed the straw down for the in line baler.

Another  job for the tractor towards the end of it's life was driving an M-H hammer mill with a wide flat belt from the belt pulley.  The drive was taken up to a pulley and shaft arrangment in the top of the shed and the power transmitted along and then down to the mill in a separate part of the shed.

So it has known work and looks as if it has just stopped work.  John Lennie has been tice to view "his" old tractor says it is exactly as he remembers it - even down to the moth holes in the mudguards.  I love it like this and am leaving it original to reflect its history.  I even have the road registration number and registration document with it.

Sorry- I failed to get the second picture on yesterday - system failure at the site!  Anyway here it is showing John Lennie reunited with "his tractor" which he remembers so fondly.  We took the cover off the mag and started it each time he came up to visit and he had a trip back in time driving it round.

Talking of systems failure Joe, Gary and Brendan - I've just been chatting to Malcolm and he is very distressed that you haven't got him back on line yet!  He has much to report..............

John

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Posted: 2/12/2013 9:51:13 AM
   

RE:Family tractors etc.

Here is my MH 744D tractor fitted with Perkins 6 cylinder diesel - arguably the smothest running, great torque and quiet diesel ever made.

I bought it in about 1972 from a scrapyard near here where it had got itself painted a horrible blue.  It was a good runner and only needed minimal straightening up.   I sent it back to my Dad's and uncle's farms for storage as I had nowhere for it here in those days.  Needless to say they found a use for it!  It was put to work every summer for 24 hrs a day for about 8 weeks every summer driving the grain drier fan off the PTO.  It did this for about 10 years before being stood down and replaced by a wagon engine.  So this tho'  always being one of my collection has worked on the family farms.

Note the British fitted cast steel wheels back and front which were fitted as standard here.

Originally it had been bought new in 1954 by the local County (Caernarvonshire) Agricultural College.  There it had been driven new by a good friend of mine Norman Williams and it was him who had helped me track it down.  One photo shows him reunited with his tractor, another at the College where students were being indoctrianted about the fine attributes and properties of MH tractors, and one ofit at work amongst the college buildings

John

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Posted: 2/13/2013 7:42:59 PM
   

RE:Family tractors etc.

Hi John,

I love that last picture of the 744D!!  It almost looks like a painting or a pic from a calendar!!  Great subject and great background!!


GTE



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Posted: 2/17/2013 4:27:11 AM
   

RE:Family tractors etc.

This is my Dad's first tractor.  He started farming on his own during the war borrowing his father's MH U frames as we lived next door.  Then in 1948 he bought this petrol engined Ferguson TEA 20 serial no 39615 road registration number JTE 738 together with a plough, cultivator and three row ridger.  I remember it arriving.  It was supplied by Ferguson agents Hogarths who were located between Manchester and Liverpool.

This tractor did thousands of hours of work and must have had at least 6 sets of pistons and sleeves in its working life and associated head and crankshaft jobs.  After 3-4 years Dad bought a conversion set to enable him to run it on paraffin.  He also had a Howrd reduction gearbox fitted to allow the tractor to run slow enough for planting lettuce and the like.

At the end of it's working life it lay abandoned in the shed for many years.  Finally I brought it back here and tarted up and it became my son's.  We still have it and it's a nice runner.

We only have one distant shot of it at work on a foggy day with snow on the ground.  Here is that shot with a blowup of it.  It shows the "gang" off to cut a load of cabbage for Manchester wholesale market in about 1962 as far as I can recall.  I took the shot on a day I was home from college.  Dad's driver Jackie Eccleston put by far the greater number of hours in on this tractor, though I drove it whenever I could - and that was a lot!!!  My Dad and George Kelly are on the trailer.  Notice Dad had fitted a cab to the tractor for some protacetion ffor Jackie when he was ploughing in winter but in truth it was a rattling and drafty old thing!

Jackie came up to see his old tractor when we had straightened it up after its long layoff.   He was entranced to get on and drive it again and has since bought one for his own use on his small holding

John  

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Posted: 2/17/2013 9:59:16 AM
   

RE:Family tractors etc.

John,

Perhaps I haven't been paying close enough attention, but I don't recall ever seeing that louvred side panel by the engine cooling fan.  Was this something unique to the TEA-20, or some sort of special option to deflect fan blast, or ???

Thanks for continuing to share with us photos of your deep Massey family history.

Cheers,

   JB


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Posted: 2/17/2013 10:54:11 AM
   

RE:Family tractors etc.

John,

Well spotted.  It is nothing more than a safety guard!  In the mid '60s safety regulations came in that you had to cover the fans on older tractors and also fit mudguard extensions and footboards to these Ferguson tractors.  The latter we long since removed because they are not required if the tractor is for your own pleasure use, but my son wanted to keep the fan guard.  This was a curse because you had to remove it on one side to remove/fit a fan belt or tighten the dynamo for the belt tension.

These guards were made by some company or other - many jumped on the bandwagon to profit from the regulations, similarly the footboards and mudguard extensions.

For our MF 35 , also afflicted with the same inadequacy of the time we made our own having got the pattern from the Ferguson set.

All history now!

John


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