What a Find!
August 13, 2013, 8:52 am
Filed under: August 2013 | Tags: ,
Museum quality Gleaner "E" combine

Museum quality Gleaner “E” combine

August 13, 2013

I am still pinching myself. I can’t believe that I found and bought this small, self-propelled combine. It is a one-owner machine that was taken care of very well. It is 1967 vintage. She has a ten foot grain head and the same engine as a D-17 Allis Chalmers tractor. It was advertized on a sale bill for public auction, I never imagined that I could buy it.

Connie and I went to the sale in the hopes that we might get a chance to buy this machine, but I was very reserved. When we arrived, the machine was being looked over by a fairly large crowd. I saw small farmers of all types, licking their chops and commenting about the incredible shape of this small harvester.

I have seen similar machines sell for over $5,000.00 dollars. That was way beyond my reach due to some other projects on the farm. I got a bit dis-enchanted and almost left the auction, knowing that this small beauty would sell beyond my means. It was the next item to sell, so we stayed to have an idea what a machine of this quality would bring.

The auctioneer started the bidding at $5,000.00…but he went backwards! There was nobody in the crowd intrested in this old machine…just a lot of lookers I guess. We bought the machine for one fifth of what I was sure it was worth. Two men in the crowd were tickled beyond words when the gavel fell. One was me … the other was an old man, the owner of the machine  😮

I am excited to have what will be the last combine of my farming career. It will easily last me twenty years …and who knows if I will. The old man was happy to know that his combine would find new life on our farm and not be sent to the scrap heap. We shook hands and made a new friendship. He shared many stories of his 82 year old life with me, 45 of which, he owned this combine!

I have gone over the machine from top to bottom. There is not one missing bolt, worn belt, bad bearing or defect of any kind. He gave me the original owner’s manual with pen and pencil notes in the margin, from a love affair of over 45 years. I will treasure the manual, almost as much as the machine.

This small combine was the “baby” of the Allis Chalmers combine fleet. It is a dependable machine that has many parts much like the old AC 60 & 66’s that I am used to using. It is funny that I bought a machine that is over 45 years old, and still upgraded by twenty five years !  😮

Another good part to this story is that the Allis Chalmers 66 pull type combine that has harvested my spelt crop for the last five years, found a new home, where it too will be taken care of by a very grateful man. I didn’t want to see it go to the scrap heap either!

Small harvesting equipment is not being manufactured anymore, except for a few Asian companies for rice harvest. Sadly, combines of today are big behemoths that cost in the hundreds of thousands of dollars range. The headers are thirty feet wide and larger … not practical on many small farms…especially this one, where horse drawn equipment and my time, keep the fields in sizes of three to four acres.

The rain fell again over night washing the hay that I cut this weekend, but I can still smile! Finding an asset like this old combine will do that to a man … Making a friend like Frank Mann, the combine’s old owner … well that is priceless!


2 Comments so far
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That is an incredible find! I grew up on a small farm and have fond memories riding with my dad on his Gleaner E, which was later upgraded to a Gleaner C (or CII, I can’t recall at the moment). The Gleaner E sat in the bush without running for some 20 years, when I advertised it and donated it to someone who is now in progress of fixing it up. He managed to get it running to drive it onto a flatbed. You can see photos of my dad’s machine at the wikipedia page I created:


I hope your machine is still running well!

Comment by Former Farm Kid

I like stories like yours. I am glad that I helped you remember your dad and a few times gone by.
My machine is shed kept and working good. I am very happy with her. We got a nice crop of spelt off this past year and are looking forward to next year. Thanks for checking us out, come anytime!

Comment by ricelandmeadows

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