The Lucky 13 Tractor
The 1962 Ford 4000 Tractor spent the first 15 years of it’s life working on various farms in Northern Utah. It had a large hydraulic bucket on the front, and was abandoned in horrible shape after it sunk in a deep marsh.
My Grandfather was spartan man who grew up through the great depression and served as a pilot and airplane mechanic while in the Navy in Pearl Harbor during World War II. He pulled the swamped tractor out and nursed it back to health. He replaced many of the damaged parts with Ford 801 Tractor parts which were much easier to find. The tractor spent the next 17 years launching and retrieving boats at Bear Lake, near Garden City, Utah. I lived with my grandparents for half of my childhood, and my grandpa spent countless hours driving around with me or one of my cousins on his lap. These are some of my best memories. He finally lost the energy to keep up with the leaks and mechanical problems, and the tractor sat for about 12 years in disrepair.
After he passed away, my Grandmother laughed when I asked her about the tractor. She couldn’t understand why I wanted it, but knew how close I was to my grandpa and gave it to me. My brother Eric and I stripped it down completely, sandblasted it, replaced a bunch of parts, painted it, and got it running. I planned to keep it in a garage, and give occasional rides to my kids.
Getting the tractor running coincided with the opening of Lucky 13. I drove it up and parked it on the corner, thinking I’d leave it there for a while for the grand opening. It quickly became a fixture, and it only leaves now for the occasion repair, for special functions, or when my kids want a ride around the block. My grandpa would love seeing it now, as it blows fire out of the chrome fishtail Harley exhaust while driving down the street.