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Whatever happened to these pullers from yesteryear?


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#151 agonair

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Posted 25 August 2011 - 04:13 AM

John Thompson is still alive, many names to remember. Did pull against John when he had the 4020's. Francis Rich from Tuscola done all the work on the IH tractors when IH was starting out in pulling. Don Nolan a big IH puller, DeClerk any many more from Taylorville area. Had fun pulling against them but got to be expensive and service called and thats when dad and I quit.

Ask about John today after reading this post at King Bros IH and the shop service manager had talked to him last week. He turned 82 last week and going strong. Said his tractor went to North Carolina.

I think Myron Riddle ended up with a new 1466 after the MM. Had it worked on at Arthur Il by George Fleming while he worked at Yoder Imp. George Fleming picked up a lot of knowledge from George Coffey and Francis Rich while he worked at King Bros. He passed away from a brain tumor at a very young age.King Bros worked on a lot of tractors when the 806 came out. Had a jig set-up to weld turbo elbows and keep everything neat and clean under hood.

We were also talking about a farmer from south of Indy, Tom Wright. Brought his tractor to Arcola to get tuned. He passed away a few years ago from heart ailments. Boys are still farming and trucking. I was young at the time and can remember his tractor being spotless. Ran well too.


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#152 agonair

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Posted 25 August 2011 - 04:13 AM


John Thompson is still alive, many names to remember. Did pull against John when he had the 4020's. Francis Rich from Tuscola done all the work on the IH tractors when IH was starting out in pulling. Don Nolan a big IH puller, DeClerk any many more from Taylorville area. Had fun pulling against them but got to be expensive and service called and thats when dad and I quit.

Ask about John today after reading this post at King Bros IH and the shop service manager had talked to him last week. He turned 82 last week and going strong. Said his tractor went to North Carolina.

I think Myron Riddle ended up with a new 1466 after the MM. Had it worked on at Arthur Il by George Fleming while he worked at Yoder Imp. George Fleming picked up a lot of knowledge from George Coffey and Francis Rich while he worked at King Bros. He passed away from a brain tumor at a very young age.King Bros worked on a lot of tractors when the 806 came out. Had a jig set-up to weld turbo elbows and keep everything neat and clean under hood.

We were also talking about a farmer from south of Indy, Tom Wright. Brought his tractor to Arcola to get tuned. He passed away a few years ago from heart ailments. Boys are still farming and trucking. I was young at the time and can remember his tractor being spotless. Ran well too.


Go IH Red!

#153 agonair

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Posted 25 August 2011 - 04:27 AM

George Fleming was my Dad and he passed away in 1980 but prior to that he was involved in tractor pulling from about 1965 until his death. He started out at King Brothers in Arcola under the tutelage of George Coffey and others and others and built up quite a reputation at King Brothers and later Yoder Implement in Arthur. I have several pictures and will post them some day. Many are under the hood shots. Some of the pullers he tinkered with:

Tom Abrams, Oaktown, IN - 1466
Ed Carmichael, Sullivan, IN - 1466
Kenneth Easely, Salem, IL - 1256
Myron Riddle, Tuscola, IL - 1466 and through the conversion from diesel to alcohol
Don Nolan, Taylorville, IL - 1206 until he switched to Minnies
Don Zeck, Young America, IN - 1206
Pop Johnson, Arcola, IL - 1206
Duane Brian, Tuscola, IL - 806
Lloyd Johnson, Stewardson, IL - 1066 - double turbo
John D. Thompson, Marshall, IL - 1466??
Tom Wright, IN - 1466?
Rodney Ryan, Arthur, IL - 1066

There were others but those are the ones I remember. Back then, the Arthur Power Stopper sled was based here in Arthur as Billy Watkins had invented and built the first weight transfer sled. He holds the patent. They would get a tractor ready, do a road test, then would have Bill bring in the sled for a "middle of the night" hook down the Arthur track.
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#154 legendsgrandson

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 06:34 PM

  • im the grandson of grooms smith he pulled a 1066 ih and he was one of the bad boys so he says. Sure wish i could have seen his tractor go down that track. Papa grooms is still alive and kickin like a mule. He is still hard headed as ever and we are looking for an ih to build. He said to me the other day that if he had his old tractor back he would park it on the front lawn and make a mail box out of it. If anyone has any info on the tractor post the name of the guy who owns it and the number if possible. It would make his day to hear how his tractor is doing. He might even buy it back


#155 wildfire1206

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 07:58 PM

  • im the grandson of grooms smith he pulled a 1066 ih and he was one of the bad boys so he says. Sure wish i could have seen his tractor go down that track. Papa grooms is still alive and kickin like a mule. He is still hard headed as ever and we are looking for an ih to build. He said to me the other day that if he had his old tractor back he would park it on the front lawn and make a mail box out of it. If anyone has any info on the tractor post the name of the guy who owns it and the number if possible. It would make his day to hear how his tractor is doing. He might even buy it back


Seriously?! Make a mailbox out of the old Junkyard Dog?!
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#156 jimmy

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Posted 07 January 2012 - 01:05 PM



`I've really enjoyed reading this topic. It's brought back a lot of memories I had when I was a kid and the NTPA came down here to Georgia. You guys are lucky and better be thankful that you can get to go to a NTPA pull.Anyway I was looking in my tractor pulling book by Michael Bargo and one of the prettiest ones to me is a 560 called ole binder boy owned by Jerry Tuggle from Michigan.

If i'm correct RE Donaldson got killed in a farming accident 20-25 years ago a frist class puller A lot of us old pullers are gone or going to be gone before long Still gives me a good feeling to go to a good pull I,ve ofen wondered where my old 666 wound up at( thank's for the time to think back in past years)

I remember Donaldson pulling in BG very strong tractor I believe he died the next yr and his son or sons brought the tractor back and pulled in BG after that at least once. I also remember being track side one time when Henry Piper twisted off a rear axel on his tractor the tractor dropped and the wheel just rolled on down the track Piper was nice and calm just shut off the tractor and watched the tire roll down the track with a big grin on his face.

Donaldson got killed when he was thrown off that tractor in i believe chapel hill, nc.


Does anyone know what ever happened to Donaldson tractor after he got killed. A neighbor said that the tractor is sitting in a tobacco barn without the motor just a few miles from me. I have not seen it so i dont know for sure but would like to go look at it. Could somebody look to see if they have a picture of the tractor at a pull or could find a picture in a old magazine thanks

#157 red_reaper

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Posted 07 January 2012 - 10:21 PM

Funny this topic was back up. I just found and bought a set of 24.5x32's on 9 bolt rims that came from the Conner bros, still says that on the side of one tire in white marker. Goodyears. Found them in a field at Winigan Mo. a farmer had them on a 656 for years. They either came off the Flyin Farmall 460, or the Massey Harris they had I'm guessing. Could barely see some red paint on them. Believe it or not, they aired up and I painted the rims 901 white, to use on something.
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#158 tractorjunkie

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 10:03 PM

I have enjoyed reading these threads from you guys about the old pullers and was wondering if anyone remembers Danny Blasingame (Scrap Iron 705 MM) and if he is still pulling or what. I seem to recall Danny Fillingame as well don't remember his tractor though. I have been to alot of pulls in GA and got to see most of the pullers and tractors mentioned in this forum.

#159 Mark (EC,IN)

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Posted 28 January 2012 - 07:37 PM

I have enjoyed reading these threads from you guys about the old pullers and was wondering if anyone remembers Danny Blasingame (Scrap Iron 705 MM) and if he is still pulling or what. I seem to recall Danny Fillingame as well don't remember his tractor though. I have been to alot of pulls in GA and got to see most of the pullers and tractors mentioned in this forum.


Didn't Danny also pull a 705 MM? If I'm thinking of the right fellow, he always backed up to the sled with a cigarette in his mouth. He'd flip it over his shoulder right before he took off.

#160 tractorjunkie

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Posted 28 January 2012 - 09:37 PM

I thought about it after my last post and I believe Danny Fillingame was the driver of scrapiron instead of Danny Blasingame. Yes I do recall him having a cigarette while he was dailing in the fuel mixture, he ran it on acetalene, butane and alcohol.



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