Better Than New: Restoring a Farmall 340

A 1959 Farmall 340 rusting away in a barn is brought back to life for a new century.

| July 2015

In November 1996, my wife, Ruth, and I bought a partially restored 1964-1/2 Mustang. We finished the restoration over the winter of 1996-’97. In the fall of 1997, we began looking for a place to store the Mustang for the winter.

A friend, Norm Purdy, told me of a two-car garage on a farm he used to own and gave me the owner’s phone number. A few days later, I met the owner, Tim Fealey, and his wife, Julie. We became good friends.

For 16 years we stored the 1964-1/2 Mustang at the Fealeys’. Later we bought another Mustang, a 1992 GT, and stored it along with the 1964-1/2 during the winter.

A project out of the blue

Over the years I noticed an old tractor at the other end of the building. It was quite obvious that the tractor had not been moved in quite a long time. All of the tires were flat and the tractor was covered with cobwebs. Wasps had made nests on various parts of the sheet metal. My curiosity finally got the best of me, and I asked Tim about the rusty old piece of iron. He had bought the Farmall 340 along with the farm. It had a 250-gallon tank mounted on the back for spraying trees in the farm’s orchard. Tim no longer had any use for the tractor as he had another one he preferred to use. The tractor had not been moved or started in many years.

After more conversation, Tim suddenly asked, “Chuck, how would you like to restore that old tractor?” I was shocked. I had no idea Tim would want to restore the old relic. My first thought was that he didn’t want to tackle what would be a gargantuan job, take more than a year and cost a lot of money. But the longer we talked, the more the idea grew on me. Soon an agreement was reached. Tim would provide the parts and I would provide the labor.

Because I wanted to know a little bit about the tractor’s attributes, I began to do some research. I found that the old machine’s serial number was 5396. According to Farmall’s records, the tractor was built during the last two weeks of 1959 and was probably purchased in early spring of 1960, in time for spring planting. The tractor weighs about 7,000 pounds and has 32 hp on the drawbar. The gas tank holds about 16 gallons and the engine is a 4-cylinder overhead-valve type.


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!

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