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1938 Massey Harris 101 Rc

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#1 alleyyooper OFFLINE  

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Posted July 11, 2014 - 06:35 AM

Massey brought out a new model in 1938 powered by a Chrysler 6 cylinder engine. Some people want to call them all supers but that isn't the case really. The first ones were 201.3 ci [3.3 L] Displacement: untill 1940. then they increased the displacement to 217.8 ci [3.6 L] many back then started calling them super 101's. It was Masseys first in house designed tractor.
I fell in love with the sleek lines and the crome which set it apart from many of the tractors of it's day. It wasn't all beauty though, history has proven they were horses in their day.
I had looked at several probably the best one was one I seen sitting in the back yard near Saginaw Michigan. I knocked on the door on a slightly rainy day so I was sure the home owner would be around. The owner answered the door and when I asked about the 101 he told me it was a 1940 and wasn't for sale as it was next up to get a beauty make over after he finished a Sampson he had in the shop. Would I like to see the Sampson and some of the other treasures in the shop he asked. I told him I had a tractor junkie for a bride with me would it be OK for her to see his treasures. He said that would be great. When you first go into his huge shop the first thing we saw was the Sampson narly all stripped of paint., The owner explained it was all done except for the paint and if the weather ever cleared up for more than a day he was going to paint it. Behind a pair of big sliding double doors he had stored many other bastard tractors most all complete and ready to show. I liked his 1949 Farm Master and Graham tractors.Kare thought the 1923 Russell big boss was huge.
I could see I would never get that 101 from the old fellow so we bade him good bye and thanked him for the tour.
The next one I cam across was behind a small engine repair shop. I was looking for a part for an old craftman lawn tractor I owned on a Sunday when I found the 101. It looked complete enough I felt I could restore it.
Taking a drive Monday morning to that shop and doing the inquirey on the possiable sale of the 101 got me the answer it belonged to a friend of his and did not know if he would sell it. I gave him my card with the contact information on it and to call me if he wanted to sell it. Guess he didn't want to sell it cause its been nearly 20 years and I haven't gotten a call icon_lol.gificon_lol.gif.
The next one was also found on a Sunday at a dealership for those orange jap tractors. It sat out back where many other forms of what had once been tractors sat. It looked complete except one side panal was gone and all the crome. I was still intrested and called information monday morning for their number. I called them righ away and got some one who didn't have any idea what I was talking about they sold Kobotas not Massey Harris's. I told him if he found the person that knew some thoing about it to have them call me. That also has been 20 years with out a call but Kare did meet a fellow who told her about it and asked if I was intrested that fall at a late Sepember tractor show north of Flint Michigan. We went and looked at it again and found it had been parted out pretty much.
The next summer still on the serch for Massey Harris tractors we decided to take time off to go to a show featuring Massey Harris tractors and equpment in Bucannan Michgan. it isn't all that frar from Hastings michigan.
We park pay our admission and then we sort of split up I am at the far end of the rows of masseys looking at a what else 101 and a 101 senior. Kare is at the other end taking to a fellow about his 81 like hers. I stood on the hill by to 101 when a guy drives a 101 up to the gate with a old 63 ford pick up on a tow bar drives in. He get off the tractor just inside the gate and unhooks the truck from the tractor. I thought he had shut the tractor down when he had unhooked but that wasn't the case. He drove the tractor up to the end where Kare was and parked it. He got off in time to hear Kare telling the guy with the 81 how we had been looking for a 101. The owner of the 101 walked up to Kare and said he wanted to sell her the 101. Kare about fainted she said to me later.
Kare told him she would be happy to buy the tractor from him and she needed to find me. He told her where he would be.
Kare found me so we went to talk to the fellow, see how much he wanted. When we found him he said he had changed his mind and didn't want to sell. Kare's said latter she thought he was approched by some one wanting to buy the tractor after they heard him say to Kare he wanted to sell it. She figured they had offered him a chunk of change. We gave him our contact card in case he changed his mind.
I was shocked when I got home from work one November morning long after that show and any hopes of getting that 101 had vanished. He had called Kare the evening before and said how much he wanted and it had to be cash.
We had to be there Saturday Morning before he had time to change his mind.
My dad and I went Saturday morning with the truck and trailer to pick it up. the guy said his dad bought it used in 1944 when he couldn't get a new tractor because of the war. they had 4 inches welded to the rear rims for the larger 14.9 x 36 tires need in the muck farm operation. it came with a full set of cultivators the owner told us he had used so much there was a groove in the steering wheel from having his thump hooked in it. it was raining as we loaded it up and he placed the can on the exhust I am sure all those dropps of water on his cheeks were not all from the rain. this 101 had excaped the 1940 retro fit of the brake pedals. Mine are one on the left and one on the right, the 1940 retro fit placed both pedals on the right side.


:D   Al

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#2 propane1 OFFLINE  

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Posted July 11, 2014 - 09:27 PM

Great story, thanks, Noel.

#3 MH81 ONLINE  


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Posted July 11, 2014 - 11:33 PM

Nice story, thanks.
Any pictures of it today?

#4 alleyyooper OFFLINE  

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Posted July 13, 2014 - 08:04 AM

No recent pictures of it.


:D   Al