My Dad purchased this 1955 Ford 860 tractor with a 2 bottom 16 inch Economy Plow in the Spring of 1955. When the tractor was delivered to the farm, I was the first to drive it in the field pulling a disk over plowed ground. The sales agent rode along telling me the tractor was much more powerful than the Ferguson Dad traded in and to be careful. I was thirteen at the time.

I spent many hours in the seat of this tractor plowing and discing. Dad used the tractor to pull an International Harvester bailer, Minneapolis Moline combine, New Idea corn picker, bush hog, and other implements. We raised chickens in two buildings and Dad used the tractor with a front loader to clean out the buildings. After 27 years of use, I purchased the tractor at my parents farm sale thinking at the time I would need the tractor to manage small acreage my wife and I thought we might purchase for our next home. The property purchase never happened and I used the tractor around the area mowing, grading, and hauling wood.

 In 1994 immediately after I retired from teaching, I took the hood and fenders off the tractor to begin a restoration. I drained the radiator and gasoline tank but soon was re-employed in a second career and stopped working on the tractor until the spring of 2014 when I arranged for a body shop to paint the hood, new fenders, new front wheels, and rear wheels. I purchased new rear rims and had new tires mounted to the rims and newly painted front wheels. With the tractor mobile, I pulled it up onto a trailer and hauled it to a body shop to have the chassis painted. I then spent the summer of 2016 reassembling the tractor using new parts to replace worn out parts. Finally on July 28, 2016, I started the tractor engine for the first time in 22 years. I had a neighbor grind the valves as the only change to the engine. Dad had the engine overhauled in the late 70’s or early 80’s and used the tractor as a utility tractor only since he had larger tractors for field work. The engine runs and sounds as good as new. Recently, I took the tractor on a cruise to a neighbors farm to borrow an implement to use on my garden area. After driving to and from this farm and working the garden area, a small leak started in the front of the gasoline tank where a bracket is welded. Knowing I could have the tank repaired, but finding a new tank online, I chose to purchase a new tank. After the new tank is installed, I will clean and wax the gray parts and clean the chassis to get the tractor ready for shows in our area the summer of 2017.

Larry Thompson
Godfrey, Illinois