Many old-timers came of age in the seat of an Allis-Chalmers, a Farmall or even a Poppin' Johhny. Wisconsin folk historian Jerry Apps' first tractor was a homemade contraption sculpted from the remains of old trucks, spare parts and down-home know-how.
Apps was only eight years old at the time and the tractor was the creation of a local welder-blacksmith, Jim Colligan, who fashioned it from an old Model A Ford truck.
"He shortened the truck's frame. In place of regular truck tires, he acquired a pair of huge old tires that the county discarded from one of its snowplows," Apps recalls. "Colligan bolted these tires to the truck wheels and left them flat, to provide more traction for the tractor. With some sheet metal, he fashioned a hood to cover the engine, and he made a seat for the operator to sit on. He covered the whole thing with aluminum paint and drove it out to the farm one summer day in 1942."
Continued at... For the Love of Tractors
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