Last month in this column I wrote about the International hundred series -- what I termed "the forgotten vintage tractor series." For those of you who didn't read last month's column or are not familiar with these tractors, this would be the 300/400 and the 350/450 models that were sandwiched in the mid-1950s between the famous letter series (H/M) and the newer series featuring the 460/560s.
Obviously, not everyone has forgotten about these old tractors. I received a couple emails from readers wanting to share their experiences with these timeworn tractors.
Here is the first Vintage Iron reader story:
Russ, I enjoyed your column on the super series and the hundred series Farmalls. When I was a boy, my dad had only one tractor, an H.
He also still used a team of horses to do chores with because the tractor was too much work to get it started in the winter. Sometime in the early '50s, he bought a Super H.
My first memories of being on a tractor was when he would let me sit on his lap and help steer the tractor. In 1957, Tyrholm Implement in Osage, Iowa, asked my father if they could bring a new Farmall 350 out to our farm and demonstrate it for the local farmers and my father agreed.
Although I was only 8 years old, I still remember the truck pulling onto our farm with the 350 to be greeted by my father and several of the neighbors. The afternoon was spent plowing with a three-bottom plow and everyone had the chance to drive the 350.
I was standing in the field by one of our neighbors when he commented to me that no one needed a tractor that fancy or that big. He said all he needed was his John Deere B.
That gentleman is still my neighbor, who is now in his 80s. I wonder if he remembers telling me that. After the demonstration was over, my father traded the H in and bought the 350.
The dealer had to take the tractor back to town, however, to remove the 2-point fast hitch as my father said mounted equipment would never catch on so he wouldn't pay for something he would never use. The 350 was the first tractor my parents let me drive by myself and I spent most of the summers cultivating corn.
I was sure life couldn't get any better.
My Dad continued to farm with red equipment until his death in 1990. Dad never traded off the 350 and I inherited it after he died. Sixty years after it arrived on this farm it is still working, occasionally running an auger in the fall.
Here is our second Vintage Iron reader story:
We had an International 350 utility tractor and it was a nice tractor as it was used on the corn planter. The two-point hitch had down pressure on the drawbar as well as lift. If you placed a block under the drawbar, you could lift the rear wheels off the ground with the hydraulics.
In the winter we had a blade on the front, but it didn't have any spring trip or relief on the blade. If you were scraping snow and hit something, it was either very hard on the frame or threw you into the steering wheel.
We soon learned slow and easy was the way to go. All considered, it was a nice tractor.
One of my favorite memories of it involved my brother and I deciding to pull over a tree next to a cattle lot. Being young teenagers, we somehow got a cable attached quite a ways up the tree.
We hooked our Super M to it, but decided we might need more power so we hooked the 350 in front of it. With my brother driving the 350 and me on the Super M, we started out.
Surprisingly, the 350 straightened out the cable, lifting the rear tires of the Super M off the ground and flipping it on its side. No real harm done but a lesson learned.
My thanks goes out to both Alan and Charles for their interesting stories about their experiences with the IH hundred series. Their stories prove this series is not completely forgotten about.
If you have any stories of your experiences with the IH hundred series, please feel free to send them to me. We will run them in future columns.
Russ Quinn can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow Russ Quinn on Twitter @RussQuinnDTN
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