Legacy of genius: Scale model tractors, steam engine and steam show reminder of James Sylling’s life
James built the 8-16’s gas tank. For the wheels, he had the rounds made, then brought them home and welded in spokes and hubs.
James and Dagny Sylling with his scale Case 65 hp engine. James’ son, Don, now owns the machine.
Photo courtesy Deanna Henderson
James operating his scale Case 65 hp steam traction engine. “When that Case 65 is shown, the person showing it has to have a steam license, just like the big machines,” says Deanna Henderson, James’ granddaughter.
Photo courtesy Dagny Sylling
One of James Sylling’s creations: a Rumely OilPull, perhaps 1/3- to 1/4-scale. James never cited the specific scale of his models.
A rear view showing the model’s seat and shift lever, which is from a Volkswagen. The hitch could be used to pull light items. The radiator is crafted from a Kohler light plant.
Vince Schultz at the wheel of the IH 8-16, giving a sense of the tractor’s size. The tractor appears to be a 1/3-scale.
A front view of the IH 8-16 shows the IHC decal, the crank for starting it and the rig’s steel wheels.
A side view of James’ International Harvester 8-16 scale tractor at the LeSueur (Minn.) Pioneer Power Show. “He loved the odd and unique,” Deanna Henderson says, “which is probably why he built it.”
A close-up of the Kohler light plant’s engine that propels the International Harvester 8-16.
The multi-talented James Sylling built this airplane. He used it at fly-ins and transported his children to school in it when roads were impassable.
After James Sylling picked up a Kohler light plant at an auction, he promptly converted it into the driving power for his IH 8-16 scale model tractor.