1944 John Deere Model L: The First John Deere Utility Tractor
Mar 03, 2011
This tractor is featured for the month of March in the Classic Farm Tractor Calendar.
Teenager Tyler Nelson is making a name for himself with this meticulous restoration of a John Deere tractor nearly 60 years older than he is. His father, Dave Nelson, gave him encouragement and some pointer, but the youngster did the bulk of the work. The restoration turned hears at John Deere Expos and had people buzzing at a Father of the Green in Moline.
The Model L is considered the first John Deere Utility Tractor, and it’s attractive to collectors, partly because it can be hauled in a pickup. Its vertical 2-cyl. engine (5.25 x 4 in. bore and stroke; 66 cu. in.) produced about 10.5 hp on the belt, 9 hp on drawbar, in low gear it ran 2.5 mph, same speed as a team of horses–that it replaced.
Owner: Tyler Nelson
New Haven, Missouri
The entire Show-Me State Nelson family is involved in tractor restoration. Tyler’s mother helped meticulously paint each bolt with an artist brush and created a scrapbook of the L’s restoration. Meanwhile, younger brother Jacob recently completed restoring a Farmall B that belonged to his great-grandfather.
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