Yes, we are here!

In times like these our hobbies become lifesavers. At GAS ENGINE MAGAZINE and FARM COLLECTOR, we have been tracking down the most interesting and rare vintage farm machines and collections for more than 80 years combined! That includes researching and sourcing the best books on collectibles available anywhere. Our online store is open and we are here to answer any questions you might have. Our customer service staff is available Monday through Friday from 8a.m.-5p.m. CDT. We can be reached at 1-866-624-9388 or by email. Stay safe!

Restored 1958 John Deere 45 Combine Heads to the Fields

Collector restores combine for its 50th birthday

| January 2009

  • combine_45postrestoration
    Herb Bohrer with the 1958 John Deere 45 combine he restored. “I grew up in North Dakota and did some combining when I was in high school,” he says. “The Massey 27 was the first combine I ran, then a Super 27. Once when I was home on leave, I got to run a John Deere 95.”
  • combine_45prerestoration
    The 45 didn’t look the best when Herb got hold of it, but it started readily enough.
  • combine_45originalowner
    George Jackson, 92, atop the restored John Deere 45 combine he used for more than 25 years. “He operated under George’s Rule of 10,” Herb explains. “Start at 10 a.m., stop at 10 p.m., do 10 acres. He’d spend about a month at it.”
  • combine_JDnewoldFLIP
    Dwarfed by a pair of 2007 John Deere 9760 STS combines, Herb’s John Deere 45 looks sharp nonetheless. “When you run it, it’s pretty quiet,” Herb says. “It doesn’t shake a lot.”

  • combine_45postrestoration
  • combine_45prerestoration
  • combine_45originalowner
  • combine_JDnewoldFLIP

Combines loom large among Herb Bohrer’s earliest memories.

“I was probably 6 years old the first time I rode with my dad in the combine,” he recalls. “It was an old International. We used it to harvest flax, and I can remember sitting in the grain bin, having flax pour in on me. I’ve just always enjoyed combining; I’ve always been interested in them.”

So it comes as no surprise that a 1958 John Deere 45 is among Herb’s restoration projects. Completed in early summer of 2008, his combine marked its 50th birthday in rare style. “You don’t see many restored combines,” Herb notes, “but this one is field ready and operating.”

Herb, who lives in Springfield, Idaho, bought the combine from neighbor George Jackson in 2002. George bought the piece “nearly new” and used it to harvest about 200 acres – mostly wheat – every year until 1984. After he retired, the combine was abandoned to the yard. “He never did shed it,” Herb says. “But our climate is dry. It’s only been the last few years that you see people shedding equipment out here.”

In some respects, restoration of the 45 was easier than expected. “It didn’t take much to get it going,” Herb says. “It didn’t show that much wear: It was more rust than anything. It needed a new coil, it had a water leak in the cooling manifold and the radiator wasn’t any good; bearings, sprockets, that kind of thing.”

He worked on it, on and off, for a couple of years. “I sandblasted the header, did tin work, primed it and put it in the shop,” Herb says. “I’m really hesitant to say I ‘restored’ it. I painted over some grease and I didn’t try to fix all the rust spots. But it’s pretty well original. The decals on the reel bats aren’t original: I just thought they’d look nice. In general, it turned out good and it was fun to work on.”

He finished in early July, just in time to enter the combine in the Pioneer Day parade in nearby Aberdeen, Idaho. “George – who’s 92 – drove it in the parade and he really enjoyed it,” Herb says. “It was quite a hit. A lot of people commented that their dads had used combines like that.”

But the parade was just a test drive. Herb’s true goal was to take a photo of the 45 in action, working alongside a pair of 2007 John Deere 9760 STS combines. When the big day arrived, Herb took the 45 out, got everything ready, cut a little grain and got in position to cut with the new combines. Then, as luck would have it, the 45’s clean grain conveyor chain broke. It takes time to get parts for a 50-year-old combine, and by the time that happened, the season had ended.

jan hendrik gerard meijerink
5/25/2009 5:05:59 PM

i have a combine john deere 45 and to be Restored and i want to sail him the prises 1.500,00 us dolars.


Farm Collector April 16Farm Collector is a monthly magazine focusing on antique tractors and all kinds of antique farm equipment. If it's old and from the farm, we're interested in it!

Save Even More Money with our SQUARE-DEAL Plan!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our SQUARE-DEAL automatic renewal savings plan. You'll get 12 issues of Farm Collector for only $24.95 (USA only).

Or, Bill Me Later and send me one year of Farm Collector for just $29.95.

Facebook Pinterest YouTube


click me