The Old F20

| 6/8/2015 2:50:00 PM

Mel BooneOut of 10 antique tractors at home, there are three sitting in the front yard. They consist of a 1939 Farmall F-20, a 1947 John Deere B and a 1938 Farmall F-30.

Most who drive by them fall into the following categories: they either love red and hate green, love green and hate red or just have no use for antique tractors. Oh well, you can't please every one and I'm not about to attempt that job. I collect a little bit of everything when it comes to antique tractors including one old Case and my grandfather's Massey Ferguson. As with people, every tractor has a tale to tell. This tale is about the F-20.

The F-20 has an unique story you won't realize just by driving by. It has a "mate" right there in front of you, hidden away in the shed. You're raising your eyebrow right now, right? Tractors don't have a "mate." Just keep reading. I'm not crazy, I promise. There's history here, if you want to call it history.

When the F-20 in the yard was on the assembly line being built, the F-20 in the shed was on the assembly line as well. There were only three or four other F-20s between the two. They were built together, left the assembly plant together and bought new, as a pair, at the same time by the same farmer. All in all, these two F-20s were bought and sold together as a pair at least three times before Mr. Basler bought them.

David and I knew about one of them since it was parked in an old lean-to next to the gravel road. After a few years of driving by it and wondering, David got the nerve to stop and Mr. Basler if he would sell it to us. The answer, "No, but I'll sell you it's mate that I have in the other shed." Well, that was news to us and how we learned that these two tractors had never been separated.

We took home that F-20 even though it was a challenge to get it out of the shed. The shed had sunk enough that a beam was in front of the steering wheel. We had to remove the steering wheel to get the tractor out. Once at home, it was restored. Exactly one year later, we got the news from Mr. Basler. He was ready to part with the other F-20. We went to his farm, and David drove it straight to the local antique tractor show.

6/11/2015 10:46:54 AM

Mel, that's a great story about two tractors that have stayed together most of their existence. I had two F-20s but they came from different years. One was a 1928 and had the open steering gears in the front and the other was a 1930 and had the enclosed steering gears in the front. When I was in junior high I spent many hours on the old F-20's seat plowing, discing, harrowing, and cultivating. Dad didn't have a planter so he paid some one else to do that. I have great memories of those years when Jurassic F-20s crawled across the land. ***** Have a great antique tractor day.

6/9/2015 11:49:58 AM

Hi Mel, Love your story about the old pair of tractors! We just parted with a very old Ford 9N tractor. We were sad to see it go but it went to a loving home. Keep up the good work. Love reading your stories. - Renee B.

Subscribe today

Capper's FarmerWant to rediscover what made grandma’s house the fun place we all remember? Capper’s Farmer — the newly restored publication from the rural know-how experts at — updates the tried-and-true methods your grandparents used for cooking, crafting, gardening and so much more. Subscribe today and discover the joys of homemade living and homesteading insight — with a dash of modern living — that makes up the new Capper’s Farmer.

Save Even More Money with our automatic renewal savings plan!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our automatic renewal savings plan. You save an additional $6 and get 4 issues of Capper's Farmer for only $16.95 (USA only).

Or, Bill Me Later and I'll pay just $22.95 for a one year subscription!

Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter

Free Product Information Classifieds

click me