Friday, November 15, 2013

International Harvester Farmall Super C

I've undertaken a project to restore our Farmall Super C. In the time Mollie and I have lived here this tractor has been  a lawn ornament collecting rust and weeds. But I've got big plans to turn it into a working tractor again  for cultivating, planting, and plowing my vegetable gardens.

The Super C was purchased used by my grandfather in the mid 1950's. It significantly changed the way farm-work was done. Before the Farmall all the work was done around the farm by the horses, Fred and Blanche. They were a big part of my father's childhood. He loved Fred. He didn't always have nice things to say about Blanche who enjoyed biting him. With a tractor they were able to use a square baler (all the hay was put in loose with horses) and significantly increase their corn acreage on neighboring farms which they used to raise hogs and cattle.

My grandfather always operated the Farmall. It could get pretty dangerous trying to operate a tricycle-front-end tractor on the hillsides of West Virginia. When he passed away in 1990 my father did not wait to long to go buy a Massey Ferguson with a wide front end and lower center of gravity. So we parked the Farmall and haven't used it much since.

Farmall Super C's were great crop tractors. I am now farming more vegetables and crops so it makes sense to get the old gal running and productive again. But that's not the only reason for restoring the C, it gives me a connection to my father, grandfather, and the the farm's past which is pretty priceless.


  1. Lorraine in WisconsinNovember 15, 2013 at 8:21 AM

    There is no doubt in my mind you will get the Farmall running again! but it's still a tricycle front end, and you are still in the hills of W. Virginia. So be careful! (of course a John Deere would be so much prettier ;>}

  2. Can you imagine what "Pap" would be thinking about your work to restore the Farmall Super C ? He and your dad would be delighted. Another "I can do this" project! Your efforts are truly remarkable!

  3. I am pretty sure my mom has the same tractor sitting in a patch of weeds somewhere on her property. As kids my brothers and I loved pretending to drive it.

    I hope you plan on blogging about the process.

  4. Wow! You're holding a little piece of history! And I'm sure it's going to be even more valuable as a connection to your family.

    I saw the grill of a Super C remade into a fancy-shmancy table recently and I have to say that they are much more beautiful when functioning as a whole. Good luck!
    -Toby Ridge

  5. I remember riding on those rear wheel fenders and how it smelled - the scent of hay, grease and exhaust! Ah the days! But you are so right about the fear factor. I also remember the sound. Mollie will hear you and can track you better than a GPS! Also - I think they have additional tools to make them into lumber mills, etc., so you will have a lot of fun! Keeping it real and learning your family history not from a book, but from your own senses and experiences is just about the most traditional lifestyle one can imagine! I love you John and this blog is exceptional!

  6. How Awesome! I think it's great when folks like yourselves reconnect with your past...even if it's through a tractor. Good luck! Please blog about the progress.


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