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April 2016: Wards Garden Mark Squire 9
I will stick my neck out for a change =]
A few years back, in the infancy of my collecting and focus on Simplicity & Allis machines, I desperately wanted to find a Wards Squire variant. A Garden Mark Squire 9 in real nice shape popped up on ebay, only 10 minutes from home. It ran and needed nothing to satisfy my desires. I missed the end of the auction, and she sold for $127 and change...I'll never forget.
That fueled a full throttle search and led me 3 hours from home, to pay $300 for a very rough, non-running '64 Montgomery Wards Garden Mark Squire 9. It had sat so long, it was difficult to even push. It was ugly and clearly needed a full restoration. I promptly buried it in my Father's pole barn, where it sat as an afterthought for 2 years. My desire for a Wards had burned hot, and burned out.
In the mean time, I executed my first restoration, an Allis Chalmers Big Ten and factory loader. I was so happy with the effort, and so disappointed in a few of my novice painting flaws, that I wanted to try another complete redo. The Squire again caught my eye! I drug it home, tore it down in no time, and began all the mechanical and cosmetic repairs it needed. I had amassed numerous NOS parts to do so. In the mean time, we decided to make two very big decisions: have a baby, and sell our home to move. THAT was a huge motivator to throw the million-piece restoration into overdrive. In doing so, I decided to leave the engine on the bench and tackle it at our new home, whole focusing on the remained of the restoration and reassembly, so I would not have to move the machine in boxes.
I had color-matched paint made up by VanSickle, got my blasting done in a matter of hours by a local business with a soft spot for vintage refurbs, and built an impromptu spray booth beneath my back porch. The tractor was done by the weekend, and back together. While in the process, I learned my first born would be a son, and decided to take a Simplicity Carryall attachment, which was a very scarce collector's piece, and make it match my Wards, envisioning father-son tractor rides.
Due to severe rust, I did have to replace the hood and a side panel, and I retained the Riverside tires in storage, which are in nice original shape. When we packed to move to our new home, I had some alone time at the old house, and gave the Briggs 23D a try...I had it running great with only fuel and an ignition conversion. I found no reason to rebuild it at this stage. I cleaned it up, dripped it in the fresh Squire and drove her out of our old garage, and into our new one!
This has remained my favorite machine, and is a real attention-getter. It is used exclusively for joyrides, now with TWO sons (and a third on the way), and for shows. I have used my restored Mott flail on it a couple times as well, as the two units seem to suit each other perfectly!
- Craig., blackjackjakexxix, Titus and 4 others have said thanks