JD “L” with Hercules motor (1939-1941)
I was looking for a project in early winter of 2007 when I saw an advertisement in the Antique Classifieds on the internet. It caught my attention because it was described as “parts to 4 JD “L” tractors”. I had never worked on the model “L” so I thought it might be an interesting project. I bought the lot of parts over the phone and took off to SE Texas to find the treasure. After 20 hours of driving my truck and pulling a trailer along, I reached the destination. It wasn’t quite what I pictured it to be, but I brought the mess of parts home with me, never-the-less. Then I went to work and began the adventure of putting these parts together and seeing what might happen.
It took about 6 weeks to complete the first JD “L”. It had a clean serial tag and and was originally built in 1941. I selected all the best parts to build the first tractor and everything worked great. As soon as it was completed, I started on the second one. Not so nice. The second best parts sometimes were not complete or working properly, so I needed to find some replacement parts. Also the motor needed a lot of attention and a complete rebuild. This one took about two months, because of time to find parts and I did not have as much time available as in the spring. By the middle of June we had a pair of JD “L’s”. I advertised the ’41 and sold it within 12 hours to a man in western Canada. He came by a few days later and took the little “L” to a new home.
By October I had completed the third “L” and it sold also and went to live in Omaha. So much fun building these little ones and sending them to new homes. I did keep the 1939 “L” and still show it during the summer months. It went to the Iowa State Fair in 2011.