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John Deere 530: A Family Tradition

John Deere 530

When I opened the December 2013 issue of Farm Collector (see John Deere at Kalamazoo Valley Antique Engine and Machinery Show), I couldn’t believe my eyes. In the front row of a photo on the table of contents I saw a John Deere 530 and an early styled John Deere Model G. The 530 belongs to Levi and Noah Wenger, two of 11 grandsons. The tractor belonged to Levi and Noah’s granddad on the other side of the house.

When I was 13, near the end of World War II, my dad and uncle bought a new John Deere Model GM. After Dad and Uncle Joe did the paperwork with the John Deere dealer, Dad turned to me and said, “I guess you had better drive it home.” I was the biggest 13-year-old in Kent County. I waved at everyone I could see on that 10-mile drive.

Over the years my dad and uncle farmed with a 1932 GP, the GM and a John Deere 730 Diesel. My brother has Dad’s 730; I have the other two tractors. I didn’t get interested in old iron until I was in my 60s and I saw a 1928 John Deere GP for sale. My wife said maybe I should buy it for our anniversary. I bought it before she changed her mind.

Then I found a 1947 John Deere Model G for sale 2 miles from home. I looked at it and told the owner that it looked like the GM that my dad used to have. About the same time Two-Cylinder magazine had a story on John Deere G and GM tractors. From January to May of 1947, John Deere apparently used up GM parts. The tractors in that time period were called early styled Model G’s. My Model G falls into that time frame.

So I have a Model G that is the same as Dad’s Model GM. My brother and I each have a picture on our sheds of the three tractors with us standing in front, and wording that reads, “We’ve been farming too long.” Thanks for the picture in your great magazine.

Bob Wenger, Middleville, Mich.