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Signed Concrete Led Brothers To Old Tractor
If it weren’t for the concrete wheels, it’s unlikely the 1935 John Deere D tractor would have been rescued from a Nebraska junkyard to be restored. But three young boys had traced their names in the soft concrete, and about 6 decades later they were excited to have it back in the family to proudly showcase in California.
    According to a recent story in Green Magazine, Henry Henshaw Flaming farmed near Grainton, Neb., in the 40’s and 50’s, and he filled the back tractor wheels with concrete for weight, a common practice then. The family scratched HH Flaming & Sons in one wheel, and the boys added their names to the other. When the family sold the farm and moved, the tractor was sold and eventually ended up in a North Platte junkyard about an hour away. Someone recognized the name, and Max Flaming eventually purchased the tractor. He hired Kent Hilferty, a John Deere collector and restorer, to restore it.
    Turns out the Madrid, Neb., farmer is a relative to the Flaming family through his grandfather, and he was very familiar with the model as he has John Deere D tractors in his own collection.
    Parts of the tractor had been sold off, and it wasn’t a tractor he would have chosen to restore - except for the concrete wheels and the brothers’ interest in preserving it.
    “The hardest thing was finding parts and making sure the concrete didn’t fall out. It made the wheels awful heavy to work with,” says Hilferty.
    He completed the restoration in 2012, and the “boys” were pleased with the results. Karl traveled from Denver to ride the tractor in a local tractor event. Afterward, it was loaded on a trailer and transported to California where Max poured a concrete slab to display it in front of his business. It brought back good memories, and the brothers recalled how Paul hadn’t wanted to add an F for his last name and kept erasing it.
    Hilferty appreciated the restoration project because of its story.
    “The concrete in the tractor is what made it pretty cool, and it came full circle,” he says.
    Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Kent Hilferty, 76190 Rd. 336, Madrid, Neb. 69150 (ph 308 289-0460; khilfer@nebnet.net).

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2018 - Volume #42, Issue #4