Massey-Harris Self-Propelled Clipper Combine

Restored 1945 Massey-Harris self-propelled Clipper combine turns heads

| January 2001

  • 1945 Massey-Harris Self-Porpelled Clipper combine
    Almost completely restored, this 1945 Massey-Harris Self-Porpelled Clipper combine made its debut at the White River Valley show in Elnora early this fall.
  • The Clipper shortly after Vaughn Hislip brought it home late in 1999
    The Clipper shortly after Vaughn Hislip brought it home late in 1999. shown at the wheel: Vaughn and Bobbie Hislip's grandson, Garth, who's played an active role in acquisition and restoration of the vintage combine. "He's pretty well in my hip pocket," Vaughn says. "About every time you turn around out here, you run into him." Garth drove the Clipper in the parade at Elnora, Ind.
  • The Clipper at rock bottom
    The Clipper at rock bottom: late spring, during restoration. Vaughn Hislip finds working on old farm equipment an effective therapy. "I deal with computers and telephones and people all day," he says. "When I get home, I go work on an old tractor; it doesn't give you any static."
  • The Clipper's restoration is not quite finished
    The Clipper's restoration is not quite finished: "The canvas (that takes the grain up) is not complete yet," Vaughn says.
  • When Vaughn Hislip acquired the '45 Clipper, the seller threw in an original advertising brochure for the unit
    When Vaughn Hislip acquired the '45 Clipper, the seller threw in an original advertising brochure for the unit. "It was in pretty good shape," Vaughn says. "In fact, somebody told me that brochure is probably worth more than the combine. I told him, 'Thanks; you really know how to make my day.'" The Hislips laminated enlarged copies of the original for display purposes (shown here beneath the Clipper decal).
  • By late summer, the project had begun to take shape
    By late summer, the project had begun to take shape. Vaughn cut the wood for a new reel; Garth did the assembly, a process which naturally required a subsequent test-drive.

  • 1945 Massey-Harris Self-Porpelled Clipper combine
  • The Clipper shortly after Vaughn Hislip brought it home late in 1999
  • The Clipper at rock bottom
  • The Clipper's restoration is not quite finished
  • When Vaughn Hislip acquired the '45 Clipper, the seller threw in an original advertising brochure for the unit
  • By late summer, the project had begun to take shape

Vaughn Hislip of Freelandville, Ind., is enough of a Massey-Harris collector to know that Massey didn't make a self-propelled Clipper combine ... until his son presented evidence to the contrary.

"Well, I was wrong again," Vaughn says with a chuckle.

The owner of a nice line-up of vintage Massey tractors, Vaughn decided to have a look at the 1945 combine. He and his grandson, Garth Hislip, set off to Effingham, Ill., to inspect the Clipper. Then 8 years old, Garth made a quick study of the 55-year-old combine in extreme disrepair.

"Pop," he said, "we don't want anything like this."



By the end of the visit, however, both generations of Hislips were warning to the challenge of restoring the '45 Clipper. On the day when he hauled the Clipper home, Vaughn was grateful for the enthusiastic support of Garth, his not-so-silent partner.

"I've drug home lots of things," he says, "but when she saw this, my wife thought I was crazy."