In the summer of 1995, my father, Russ Goodwin, and I acquired the 1945 Farmall B that my grandfather used as an overseer on a farm in Waynesboro, Georgia. After my grandfather’s death in 1955, J. P. Rollins, son of the landowner, used the tractor. In the winter 1985, while in his possession the engine block cracked and was unrepairable. He had told my father that he could have the tractor when he was ready, so we made a trip from Loganville, Georgia early one morning.
It was not until December of 1996 that we began to restore the only connection between my grandfather and me. The tractor was in bad shape and would be a challenge for us. From under the shed at my parent’s house, we began breaking down the tractor and removing dirt, grease, and most of all rust. Many hours were spent sandblasting and priming the original metal. The goal was to restore the B as close to original as possible.
Once dismantled, we knew what parts would be needed to make the tractor operational again. The purchase of a 1947 Farmall A in December of 1997 was made for parts such as the engine, fenders, and peddles. Other parts needed were ordered from companies, made by family and friends, or obtained at tractor shows. Not long after the purchase of the A, the engine was attached and started up by the hand crank. What a way to start a machine. After the completion of the engine, the wheels and the tires were mounted.
I drove the tractor out for the first time in January of 1998. From that point on, the final cosmetic touches were made to finish our restoration. Finally, in August of 1998, the 1945 Farmall B was ready to participate in fairs, town festivals, and tractor shows.
The restoration of this tractor was a way for my father and I to spend quality time together. During the 2 years that it took for my father and I to restore the tractor, he had heart, back, and knee surgeries.
Happy to say, tractor and father are “Good as new”.
Bill Goodwin, Good Hope, Georgia
Bill Goodwin, GA, entered 2000-08-07
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