Building the Little “L”

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.


JD "L" parts

JD "L"s