Fordson Model F Crawler Worth the Wait

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

| March 2013

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.”