Reader passes up a John Deere GP only to regret it later
Ray Blank on his mule tractor
I wanted to comment on the letter to the editor (“Vintage Tractor Lost to Cutting Torch”) in the February issue of Farm Collector written by Bob Glenn from California. I can relate to how he felt.
In the 1950s, my dad and I filled 12 silos a year. A man stopped and asked if we would fill his silo. While we were there, I noticed a John Deere GP behind the shed. I used to try to get it to run, but my dad said to leave it alone.
My dad passed away the next spring. That fall, the man returned and asked if I would fill his silo. When I went there, the GP was gone. I asked where it was and he told me two men gave him $35 and they junked it. It had been completely overhauled but the man sold it because he was no longer strong enough to turn the flywheel. What a lesson to me: I was so sorry I hadn’t tried to buy it earlier.
I’ve enclosed a photo of the mule tractor I bought about 11 years ago for $35. It had no radiator, grille, hood or gas tank when I bought it. The block and back axle were cracked. It took me about seven years to get all the parts and restore it. Mules used to be used on railroads, at airports and to pull township mowers. This one was used in a foundry. I have about $2,500 in it now. It has all International parts. Shop mule serial no. AL1533; engine no. 2650 85c; type A21.