Pedal Tractor Doctor

Minnesota man finds talent in fixing up vintage pedal tractors


| November 2000



The pedal tractor everyone wants: the Oliver 1800.

The pedal tractor everyone wants: the Oliver 1800.

You could call George Molus the pedal tractor doctor, because he likes to fix up pedal tractors. 

"I'd rather buy one that's damaged, and has been used by a kid so the wheel is missing, and the pedal crank is out of place, the steering wheel is broken and the chain is gone," he says. "Those are the type that I really look for, the really challenging ones."

George, of St. Joseph, Minn., got started in pedal tractors because a buddy of his had collected for a number of years, "and I looked at it and thought it might be something I'd like to do," he says. "I was a retired machinist, so I had the capabilities and some of the machinery." He had worked for a large valve manufacturing company, and then had a shop of his own for a few years.

He bought his first pedal tractor in 1995 for $5 at an auction.

"It was in two pieces, so I went home and put it together," he says. "Then I found another one in four pieces, and put that one together." Those were John Deere 4440 and 4450 tractors.

Others weren't so easy to come by, as George discovered. Some four years ago, "I went to a friend's place for some lawn mower parts, and saw this pedal tractor sitting under the workbench," he says. "His son was grown and gone, so I asked if that pedal tractor was for sale, by any chance?"