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Massey Discussion Forums :: Massey Talk :: Our first tractors View modes: 
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Posted: 11/6/2018 4:28:46 AM
   

Our first tractors

Winter is  almost here so we need something new to think about.  How about a thread recording the first Massey tractor we each ever collected with, if possible, a bit of its history and how you aquired it.

I will set the ball rolling with the first tractor I aquired.  It is a 1937 green (unstyled) wide front Chalenger.  My great uncle Benjamin was retiring and I went with my Dad in 1968 to view his sale - we were thinking of buying a Massey tractor there.  Anyway he GAVE me this tractor.  It was laid up outside with the hedge growing through it but uncle Ben assured me that it was good him having fitted new liners and pistons years ago but then never having used it.  And so it was - we got it home, fixed the magneto and it started readily with superb compression.  The tinwork had all rotted off it which we subsequently replaced.  The real bonus of this "gift" was that it is a very rare example of this type of wide front made specifically for the British market where conventional V tiwns were not applicable because of our narrow row crop row widths..

My grandfather also had one which did a lot of ploughing besides rowcrop work, and there were two working the nearby sewage works fermentation beds which I could see over the fence from my grandfather's farm.

So I have kicked this thread off - please follow on........................

John

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User avatar
Posted: 11/6/2018 2:40:44 PM
   

RE:Our first tractors

John,

My first Massey Harris was a 1950 Model 22. My Grandpa Riley bought this tractor new and after he died, my Grandma gave it to my Dad. My dad gave it to me in 1994 and I started the restoration process in 1995. The tractor hadn't ever been abused, just used. Hardest job it really did was mowing hay and cultivating. It had however, sat outside so the tine work had a lot of rust, the engine was stuck due to no muffler cover for a year and the use of fluid in 10  34 rear tires.

I'm too much of a perfectionist, waited and finally found a NOS set of 10 X 34 rims in 1998 and the rest of the tractor outside of the exhaust flange is original part.

When I need time to blow off steam, I jump on it and take a ride


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Posted: 11/6/2018 8:33:05 PM
   

RE:Our first tractors

Some of you already know this, but this is for those who don't.

My tractor (first antique tractor I've EVER owned) is a 1954 Massey Harris 55 gas with standard wide front axle and the large crown fenders. I bought the tractor from a MF dealership in Boonville IN after I found it on TractorHouse.com. That was in January of this year. After they delivered to the house I parked it in the garage and began doing work on it. I started off with replacing the couplers and hoses that were on it as they would not work with any of the implements in this area. (I still have the originals if anybody wants them.) Next, I took the fenders off as they were crumpled on the bottom on both sides and had them bent back out. Dad got involved by this point and we discovered that the wiring was pretty well shot. Dad did rewired it and put in new gauges. We was going to put it back to the original 6V system it had. Had the generator rebuilt and bought a 6V battery only to discover that it was not enough juice to start it. We ended up trading the 6V battery and generator for a 12V alternator and converted all to 12V and after doing so she fired right up! I took off the hydraulic tank next and cleaned it all up and filled it with fresh oil. Tested the hydraulics and they worked! 1000 pounds of pressure! Before I remounted the tank, we took off the radiator, drained it and blew out all the dirt/dust and refilled it with fresh coolant and replaced all the coolant. After putting all that back together, I ordered new seat shock and bushings and fixed that. We put it a new starter switch in it not long after as the previous one the shop put in went bad. All in all, we haven't done all that much to it mechanically and the tractor is in really good shape. It is still a work in progress, as I need to mount lights on it,and some other minor things. But that is to be expected with these antiques.  I did find out that it did have the whole belt pulley assembly on it, but the previous owner took it off before he sold it to the MF dealership. Would hopefully like to find one someday just to complete it.

Cheers,
            Dakota

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Posted: 11/7/2018 9:08:00 AM
   

RE:Our first tractors

I know many of you have already heard or read the story of "Old Sam".  It was covered pretty well in a feature article in Antique Power May-June 2016 issue titled "Old Sam Returns"   But, for those that haven't, and in the spirit of keeping this post flowing, here we go.

My Dad and Grandpa Bush both had Massey-Harris 44 gas row-crop tractors when I was growing up here on the farm.  Dad's was a late 1953 with friction throttle lever on the steering column, and Grandpa's was a 1951 with the throttle lever down between yoru legs.  Always had to be mindful of that when going from one tractor to the other!  I spent a significant number of hours on both those tractors as a boy.  Grandpa tended to name his tractors, and his 44 was called "Old Sam".

After I graduated from Purdue with a Mechanical Engineering degree, and was headed off to the world of Corporate America, my Dad and Grandpa both quit farming.  Dad had a farm sale and sold everthing except the Ford Golden Jubilee I grew up on (I still have that tractor).  Grandpa sold both of his tractors, Old Sam and a 1962 MF 35, to a good friend of the family. 

Years later when the antique tractor bug had bitten me, I was able to get Old Sam back from this family friend.  I gave it pretty close to a complete restoration around 1990.  (Not the level or restoration for a professional, but seemed pretty good at the time...)  It was the first Massey in my collection, and is still very special to me.  (I also have Grandpa's MF 35 which I got back in 2004.)

Some photos of Old Sam.

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