Here goes this will be my first entry into this realm and there are already a lot of great tractors in the category for everyone to choose from.
I would like to nominate my 1977 John Deere 208 that I purchased from my father two years ago.
My father already had two one with a 12 hp Kohler in it as the engine in it was expired and one he has restored.
He decided to do the morning coffee run for he and my Mother and just happened to look over and saw it sitting abandoned under a pine tree. It was only two miles from their house in a yard that he and I have probably driven by a thousand times.
He turned the truck around and knocked on the door and nobody answered. That being said he then went over to it to see how bad it was. He called me telling me of his find and not knowing if it was for sale or not explained how ripped the seat was and the amount of pine needles and sap that were covering it.
Pop has pretty good judgement on these things and then proceeded to leave a note on the home owners door hoping we'd get a call from them sometime that day. A week had gone by when the call finally came in and they had apologized but were on vacation and said that they were willing to sell it but that the motor was no good and they could not remember the last time it ran. They did not know what to do with it and just left it sit and wondered what he would give for it.
Pop had turned it over manually when he was there the first time and knew it had compression. A deal was struck Pop went with ramps in hand and brought her home.
Once home the first thing was to clean it off as best he could. He then removed the seat and threw it away as it was terribly rotted and full of water but the pan was still there.
Pop being pop checked the fluids drained the nasty old gas out of it and removed the rubber gas line from the fuel pump and installed a line down into the gas can, installed a battery but nothing. So after a little fiddling around he replaced the ignition switch and he had success, after a bit more of his fiddling he had her running but she had a smoking problem. Love those old Kohlers.
That was when he called and offered it to me as he said he had two and did not want another but had already got it running. I enjoy my Round Fendered units very much and never gave it much more thought after he called me the first time telling me what he had found.We were two weeks from the Oley Apple Festival so he agreed to bring it up with him on the first trip up with some of his tractors for the show. So now I was the proud third owner of the forgotten 208 and drove her around the festival that weekend and realized that a full restoration was in order with her smoking and the remains of the Pine sap all over it I thought it deserved more.
My wife had told me no more tractors but that did not work out well as this was the easiest way to bring one home as pop just brought it along with him and I took it home with me as it blended in with the others I brought home. She did finally figure it out but has since just left me alone as it keeps me out of her hair.
When it got to my house I started by pressure washing it down completely after removing the pan deck and hood. It had not been serviced well as the amount of oil and built up debris were amazing.
That being said I had her down to the frame and started the clean up and repainting to make it as i pictured it in my mind. I went to my local parts supplier and spoke with them about it and learned how collectible they have become also before tearing it down
I took it all the way down to the frame and started from there cleaning and painting everything that I could on the way back to putting her back together.
Their were many more parts than a RF but I'm glad I took alot of pictures and bought the parts and service manuals.
A new piston and rings for the engine, new drive belt ,new front tires,air cleaner and the necessary stuff for putting her back together were purchased and it started to seem like the never ending project. The rear tires and hood decals are the only remaining items not updated.The rear tires got tubes and the hood decals are no longer available. Glad I checked before I removed the old ones to paint the hood.
After I had a rolling chassis I started with the green but had some troubles with my spray cans and ended up redoing the hood three times and pan deck twice . I think I had a few bad cans of paint from Mother Deere as once I used the new cans I purchased the problem went away.
Only had it to two shows last year the first was the Roots Market Show and the our hometown Oley Apple Festival . Pop and I did a nose to nose set up with both of our refinished 208's and a bit upset with myself that i did not take a picture of that moment as we had alot of comments from people as they walked by.
So the pics you see are of the final completed project of what was once a 208 left to rest under the Pine tree.