Fordson Model F Crawler Worth the Wait

1927 Fordson Model F crawler worth a 40-year wait for Minnesota collector.

| March 2013

  • Fordson Model F
    Jack Domogalla’s 1927 Fordson Model F crawler.
    Photo By Bill Vossler
  • Aftermarket Tracks
    It took 40 years, but Jack outlasted four ownership changes before he finally got hold of this Fordson Model F with aftermarket tracks and winch.
    Photo By Bill Vossler
  • L Head Engine
    When Jack bought his 1927 Fordson F, he was not concerned that he might have to replace the engine (an original 4-cylinder, L-head engine with a 4-by-5-inch bore and stroke) as he had spares on hand.
    Photo By Bill Vossler
  • Wheels And Sprockets
    Jack knew that most Fordsons’ wheels and sprockets were solid, so he didn’t worry about having to replace those on his 1927 Fordson F crawler. These AMSCO (American Manganese Steel Co.) sprockets were touted in a 1919 ad as “gears that operate without oil.”
    Photo By Bill Vossler
  • Aftermarket Winch
    The aftermarket winch on the front of Jack’s Fordson F was probably added to use in hauling logs.
    Photo By Bill Vossler
  • Pulley
    The pulley on the Fordson’s side front was an add-on with the winch and could be used with a belt to saw wood, for instance, or perform other labors.
    Photo By Bill Vossler
  • Links
    Links on the aftermarket crawler tracks were in very good condition and required no work.
    Photo By Bill Vossler
  • Massey Harris
    Jack also likes old Massey-Harris tractors like this one.
    Photo Courtesy Jack Domogalla
  • Rumely Oil Pulls
    Jack with a pair of Rumely OilPulls from his collection.
    Photo Courtesy Jack Domogalla
  • AMSCO Ad
    A 1919 ad for AMSCO (American Manganese Steel Co.) declares its manganese-steel alloy “the toughest steel known,” adding that “today (it is) proving its durability on crawler tractors.”
    Illustration Courtesey Bill Vossler
  • 1927 Fordson
    This 1927 Fordson Model F was never used until it was more than 70 years old.
    Photo Courtesy Jack Domogalla

  • Fordson Model F
  • Aftermarket Tracks
  • L Head Engine
  • Wheels And Sprockets
  • Aftermarket Winch
  • Pulley
  • Links
  • Massey Harris
  • Rumely Oil Pulls
  • AMSCO Ad
  • 1927 Fordson

Jack Domogalla is nothing if not patient. How patient? He waited 40 years to get hold of a tractor of his dreams, a 1927 Fordson Model F crawler with a front-end winch.

Jack lives in Cedar, Minn., now, but he grew up in central North Dakota on a homestead his parents took near relatives. “When the Great Depression came along, most of my uncles left,” he says, “but Dad and Mother stayed out there and farmed.”

The Domogallas used Rumely and Allis-Chalmers and, especially pertinent to young Jack, Fordson tractors. “That’s how I got into Fordsons,” he explains. “When I was a kid, our 1923 Fordson was the first one I could drive. During World War II we couldn’t get any tractors or parts, so we ran the old ones and that was one of them that I ran.”

Later, while working for a Minneapolis-Moline dealership in Minnesota, Jack delivered tractors to farmers, affording him the chance to spot old tractors in sheds and tree groves. That led him to buying old tractors, like his 1935 English Fordson N with a plow that he bought (for $80) from a farmer in 1950. “I still have that one,” he says, “sitting right next to my crawler.”



Always a bridesmaid

“After the Moline dealership burned down, I worked on ore boats in Duluth for three years, keeping that 1935 English Fordson N in a chicken coop at my mother‘s place,” Jack says. Later he started a unit concrete step company in Cedar, Minn. “But I always found and sold tractors and kept some over the years,” he says.

When the concrete business slowed during the winter, Jack delivered fuel oil. A customer living 3 miles away owned a 1927 Fordson F crawler with a winch. “He said it was in a shed, it wasn’t for sale and he didn’t want me even looking at it. He wanted to fix it up one day. But I managed to look at it anyway,” Jack says, laughing. “He didn’t know how to run it, so I don’t know why he had it. Maybe a relative gave it to him. That went on for 10 years until he died.”



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