Tales Written by Members

December 2013

Yesterday, prior to a cold front moving in, it was a no wind, sunshiny Colorado day with air temp about 55.  I needed to paint a John Deere "D" tractor hood and normally 55 would be too cool to paint.  However: I placed that part in the sunshine and in about 15 minutes it was warm to the touch which was a good thing.  The paint job, to be nice, required 3 applications of paint with a few minutes of time between applications to allow the paint to get slightly tacky.  A friend of mine, north of Denver, is a good painter and his technique is similar.  Tractor enamel flows together well, doing that.  He and I also complain a lot about little black bugzz - sorta large gnats - who sniff out the volatility in wet paint and love to sit in it in warmer weather.  No way would I expect that yesterday - too cool for bugzz - but wouldn't you know it ... between paint applications 2 and 3 one of those little buggers found my paint project and proceeded to get stuck in it!  Aaaaaargh!!  Now I am thinking I should be politically correct and label that pesky wet paint sitter "an undocumented airborne immigrant insect of color."

  Yeah ... I know ... where I come from they call somebody like me "not quite right!"             Mil Harr

July 2013

About 5 years ago I rescued a smaller rototiller from an iron pile, brought it home and set it along side my garage for Yard Art. There is no brand name but a brace between the handlebars says “Aurora Rentals.” The frame work is an Oliver green, the engine Massey Harris red. It has a 3 hp Briggs engine. In February I decided to see if I could bring it back to life. I started messing with it and the engine turned over and the spark plug wasn’t rusted in. With help from fellow member and small engine guy Don Blender, he provided some missing engine parts. I hope to bring it to the Anniversary Hobby Show & Potluck.      Les Parker

****AND ***

Now that we are nearing completion of the club project of restoring the Farmall H, I would like to thank the members who contributed a little and to those that contributed a lot. We can all be proud of our accomplishment. We will enjoy showing and using this tractor in the years to come at club events. 

Thanks to you all!                                                                Les Parker


A Blessing or a Curse?

       By Clint Rau

 Back in May of 2001 I went to a farm auction that was about 40 miles from my home town of Streeter, North Dakota. There was a “720” John Deere on the auction sale bill.

 When I got there the auction had already started but they hadn’t gotten to the machinery yet. I went to check out the 720 as soon as I got there, taking my little book with all the tractor models and S/N listings and my check book just in case the 720 followed me home.

 I found the S/N plate, had to do a little digging because it was painted over. It read 7013639. Looked in my book ~ it was a 1954 Model “70.” Didn’t think much more about it, some dealer painted it like a 720, yellow strip and yellow seat cushion. I suppose they did that to get a little more money for a 720 rather than a 70. Who looks at serial numbers anyway except me and Larry Bauer. (Right, Larry?)

 To make a long story short, I bought the 720, I mean the 70, took it to my niece’s farm. I changed the oil and replaced a leaking valve cover gasket, adjusted the valve lash and stored it there until 2010 when I brought it to Arvada to restore it.

 I started taking it apart last year and found the sheet metal was all full of soot. Then the light started to come on . . . could this be the same 70 we had on the farm?

 I was 14 when Dad bought it. In the fall when doing some planting, fuel overflowed, hit the distributor and it ignited! We had a fire that just about burned it to the ground, burned all the tires except the right front, all the wiring, gauges, seat. Lots of damage.

 Then the next thing, Les Parker came over to help take the fuel tank off and we heard something roll around inside. We fished it out and it was the spout from a funnel. I remembered putting fuel in Dad’s tractor with a 5 gallon can and funnel, the spout broke off and fell inside.

That pretty much convinced me that this was indeed Dad’s 1954 70 John Deere!

 He traded for a 4020 in 1970 or 1971, so the JD 70 was missing for about 30 years.

 Unbelievable that I happened to be back home at that time, at that auction, and then thought I was buying a 720. I guess the Good Lord just wanted me to have Dad’s 70 back. That makes it even more fun to work on and am planning on having it done by Cider Days.

 Is it a blessing or a curse? I think it’s a blessing but if you ask Bernice, she’ll tell you it’s a curse.



By Steve Stratman


In 2005 Steve Cochran of Canon City Colorado was approached by a friend about having some old tractors at his employers for the weekend.  That employer was the Royal Gorge Bridge and Park.  The Royal Gorge Bridge is one of the world’s highest suspension bridges, just west of Canon City in southern Colorado.  Old tractors and other antique equipment have been a father’s day weekend tradition for my daughter Sydney and me for years.  The show at the Gorge is one of many shows the Arkansas Valley Flywheelers (AVF) put on every year.  In 2012 my Gibson Super D was chosen as the featured tractor for the Royal Gorge show!

Twice a day the tractors parade across the bridge built in 1929 spanning the Arkansas River 956 feet below, past the Mountain Man Camp, through the animals, and looping back in front of the Sky Coaster and Aerial Tram.  Visitors to the bridge can walk, drive, or ride across the gorge, even ride the incline rail down to the bottom.  Sydney has an apple press and enjoys making cider and giving out samples.  In addition to tractors, gas engines, corn grinders, tools, and ice cream freezers have been displayed at the Gorge.  During the 2012 father’s day weekend over 4000 visitors from all over the world entered the Royal Gorge Bridge and Park.

Gibson manufactured garden tractors and attachments, farm tractors, and forklifts in Longmont Colorado during the late forties and early fifties.  I saw a Gibson Super D at a show in Kansas as a young man.  My grandfather in Nebraska showed me paper work from Gibson where he became a dealer only to never receive the tractors that were on a truck in route.  The truck was turned around because the company filed bankruptcy.  Later when living in Longmont finding a Gibson became a passion.  I now have a model A, D, Super D, Super D2, and E.  I am on the lookout for Gibson models H & I row crop tractors now.

Spending Fathers Day weekend with my daughter at the Royal Gorge is “A FATHERS DAY TRADITION” I hope to continue for a long time!