Farm Horizons, May 2003

A renaissance of two-cylinders

By Lynda Jensen

Renewed interest in "grandpa's tractor" is leading some to give new life to an old implement: John Deere's line of two-cylinder tractors.

The small, versatile tractors are gaining popularity, as small land owners buy them at auctions, and then end up at a John Deere parts shop, ordering parts for them, commented Dave Terning of Cokato Implement.

In fact, John Deere keeps parts dating back to the 1930s, Terning said. There is an ordering period, but the parts are definitely available, he said.

The trend seems to be leaning toward it, commented Scott Maynard of Glencoe Equipment.

"It's quite a market," Terning said ­ and addictive, too, since most people who own one restored two-cylinder usually have two or three in their shops under renovation, he said. "It's a real passion."

There are several two-cylinder owners in the area including Jim Meyer of Glencoe, and Martin Wandersee of Delano.

Historically, smaller models of John Deere tractors started with two-cylinders in the 1930s, Terning said.

These were manufactured until the 1960s, when John Deere starting making streamlined versions of tractors for this market, he said.

Nowadays, there are about 30 to 40 different models of John Deere tractors, catering to the compact utility tractor market, Terning said.

The new John Deere models have virtues that just might overcome sentimental value for those interested, Terning said.

"It's the difference between a 1950s car and a 2003 model," he said, pointing out that new John Deere models have power steering and a host of other features over past models.

Two-cylinder club

For those who are collectors of two-cylinder tractors, there is a national organization called the two-cylinder Club.

In the Silver Lake area, the two-cylinder club was established by Don Chap of Silver Lake.

The club is involved in several activities through the year, including threshing and the McLeod County Fair.

The club includes many kinds of two-cylinders, not just John Deere, commented member Jim Meyer.

"We're open to all makes and models," Meyer said.

The two-cylinder club meets the first Monday of every month 8 p.m. at the Silver Lake city office building.

For those interested in joining, call Meyer at (320) 864-3826.

Those interested in joining the national Two-Cylinder Club may also write to:

Two-Cylinder Ltd.

PO Box 430

Grundy Center, IA 50638-0430

It is a non-profit organization.

"Two-Cylinder" is also the official magazine of the Two-Cylinder Club.

The national two-cylinder club hosts an annual tractor show, which will be at Fairview, Okla. Friday, July 18 and Saturday, July 19 this year.

There is also a worldwide expo, which is being planned July 10-12, 2003 in Northeast Iowa at the Community College Peosta, Iowa, located just west of Dubuque.

The 13th annual two-cylinder Club World Expo will feature:

· restored agricultural tractors (must be at least 30 years old)

· restored industrial tractors (must be at least 30 years old)

· restored Implements (must be displayed with or w/o tractor)

· restored lawn and garden tractors (will be displayed in special area)

· exceptional unrestored tractors - exceptionally good and a few exceptionally bad

· modified tractors - customer creations, such as a "530" Standard, etc.

· specialized tractors - created from the original for specialized farming tasks

· Toy displays - large toy collections and pedal tractors

· memorabilia displays

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