Farmall H Rises from the Ashes

Family's heirloom Farmall H restored after barn fire takes its toll

| August 2000

  • The Blacks' Farmall 806 100 hp diesel
    The Blacks' Farmall 806 100 hp diesel after being burned in a 1996 fire.
  • Mike Black's Farmall H immediately after the fire
    Mike Black's Farmall H immediately after the fire. Mike's grandfather bought the tractor new in 1945. "We still have the original manual, complete with the page on how to take car of war time tires," Mike says.
  • Mike Black on Feb. 8, 2000, running his farmall H for the first time since it was burned in a 1996 fire
    One happy fella: Mike Black on Feb. 8, 2000, running his farmall H for the first time since it was burned in a 1996 fire. Restoration of the H has since been completed.
  • The Farmall H was completely disassembled and cleaned prior to painting
    Ready for paint: The Farmall H was completely disassembled and cleaned prior to painting. "Anything worth doing, is worth doing right," Mike says. "This has taken a lot of elbow grease. It's been a challenge."
  • Mike Black's uncle Fred on the left; Mr. Hare at right, with the Farmall H, in 1946-47
    Mike Black's uncle Fred on the left; Mr. Hare at right, with the Farmall H, in 1946-47. Note the original exhaust muffler, as well as the original decals.

  • The Blacks' Farmall 806 100 hp diesel
  • Mike Black's Farmall H immediately after the fire
  • Mike Black on Feb. 8, 2000, running his farmall H for the first time since it was burned in a 1996 fire
  • The Farmall H was completely disassembled and cleaned prior to painting
  • Mike Black's uncle Fred on the left; Mr. Hare at right, with the Farmall H, in 1946-47

When Mike Black's cherished Farmall H was caught in a barn fire four years ago, the damage was extensive.

"It was burned to a crisp," Mike says. "It was fried."

Still, because of a fire's inexplicable appetite, restoration seemed possible.

"It was a funny fire," he says. "It didn't blow the fuel tanks, it didn't melt the radiator hose or radiator; and the engine still had coolant in it. If it had burnt the radiators, I would have written it off."



It all sounds very logical, very rational. But one suspects that the damage could have been much worse before Mike would have turned his back on the Farmall H.

Mike's grandfather bought the Farmall H new in the spring of 1945.