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John Deere Car
"I built this John Deere ścar' just for fun out of an old Jeep pickup and other miscellaneous parts. People really get a kick out of it," says Ronald Stalter, Atglen, Penn., about his one-of-a-kind car that's equipped with a hand-start crank, hand-operated clutch, and "church pew" back seat.
It's painted Deere green and yellow and is powered by a 14 hp gas engine from an old Deere 12A pull-type combine.
"It's a real show stopper," says Stalter, who built the car two years ago. "I already had a Deere Model L tractor and a Deere 3-speed girl's bicycle. I asked myself, śWhy not build a Deere car?' I made it without even making a blueprint. I don't have a welder so I drew all my plans on paper and took them to a local welding shop to have the various parts made."
Stalter bought a 1961 Jeep 150 4-WD "subnose" pickup at a junkyard for $25. He stripped it down to the wheels, axles, 3-speed transmission, and front and rear driveshafts and used 4-in. channel iron to build a 9-ft. long frame. He bolted 2 by 6 treated wooden boards crosswise on the channel iron to make the floor and bolted an old steel tractor seat and the Jeep steering wheel onto the left side of the floor. He found an old 12-ft. long church pew and cut it down to 4 ft. and also shortened the legs. The seat mounts on angle iron brackets bolted to the floor. A 12-volt battery inside a steel box mounts on the floor behind the seat and is used to power a pair of turn signals that double as 4-way flashers.
He shortened up the rear driveshaft and bolted a 14 hp gas engine off an old Deere pull-type combine on front of the frame and mounted one sprocket on the crankshaft and another one on the transmission. The engine chain-drives the transmission which drives the rear wheels. The Jeep had another trans-mission that was used to drive the front wheels and was equipped with a lever in-stead of wheel lock-out hubs for switching to 4-WD. Stalter removed the lever but left an opening in the floor of the car, allowing him to reach down and engage the extra transmission to get 4-WD.
The hand-operated clutch is off the Deere combine and mounts on the right side of the floor. A steel cable from the clutch is guided by a pair of small dolly wheels be-hind the engine to a clutch lever on the left side of the engine. A throttle connected to the governor mounts beside the clutch. The shift lever, choke, and an emergency hand brake salvaged from an old Model T truck, mount under the steering wheel. He made a foot-operated brake by mounting a pedal on top of the Jeep's master brake and ran new brake lines under the floor to the front wheels.
"It took 1 1/2 years to make in my spare time," says Stalter. "Last year I mounted it on a trailer and showed it in a parade. The hand clutch really intrigues people. To en-gage the clutch I pull back on the lever instead of pushing it forward like you normally do on a tractor. I mounted a leaf spring next to each wheel so it rides very smooth. It has three forward speeds and one reverse, as well as high and low in 4-WD. It'll do 30 mph in 2-WD in third gear but only about 18 mph in 4-WD. I made it as wide as I could for maximum stability. The engine and fenders are very square.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Ronald L. Stalter, RD 1, Box 150B, Atglen, Penn. 19310 (ph 610 593-6626).

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1996 - Volume #20, Issue #4