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Restoring Dad's 1939 Farmall F-14

Project becomes labor of love

| May 2009

  • Gary Holtman's restored 1939 Farmall F-14
    When Gary Holtman began restoring his father’s 1939 Farmall F-14, little did he know it would become a “labor of love.”

  • Gary Holtman's restored 1939 Farmall F-14

My dad, Louis Holtman, bought this 1939 Farmall F-14 new three months before I was born. It was his first tractor and his only tractor until the early 1950s. After that, it was used less and less, sometimes just once a year when I came home.

I have always loved this tractor. When we bought a farm in Missouri in 1947, we took it with us. Daddy passed away in 1977. The tractor went to one of my older brothers who always meant to restore it. He called me in August 2007 and asked if I still wanted it. I made the 1,500-mile round-trip to get it the following week.

One of my other brothers had borrowed the rubber tires and installed steel wheels on it many years ago, and the engine was stuck tight. I noticed the pistons, sleeves and bearings looked very much like Farmall C parts – all of these parts were a match. My oldest brother had terminal cancer at the time, so, if he was to see a picture of Daddy’s tractor, I had to hurry. By working day and night, I had it done in six weeks. He got to see the pictures. All of my siblings have a photo of it hanging on their walls. I have restored several tractors, but this is the only one that was a “labor of love,” for my dad, the tractor and my siblings.

Gary Holtman
Columbus, Miss.

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