Wellard Street, Serpentine, WA, 6125

Work Hours
Mon-Tues: Closed
Wednesday: 9am-1pm
Thur-Fri: Closed
Sat-Sun: 10am-3pm
Public Holidays: 10am-3pm

Note: Closed on Good Friday and Christmas Day

John Deere R - 1949


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The model R was introduced in 1949 replacing model D, it was John Deere’s first diesel tractor with a live Power-Take-Off (PTO). At that time, it was the most powerful and fuel-efficient tractor made in the USA utilising the old “Jonny Popper”, a reliable 2-cylinder engine but upgraded capacity to 6.8 litres with a diesel conversion.

American farmers in that era wanted more horsepower to drive bigger implements which the model R provided with its fuel-efficient diesel engine. The tractor was sold for $US3,700 in 1949 and generated over 20,000 sales until the model was discontinued in 1954 with the advent of multi-cylinder, high speed engines.

A special feature of this tractor was its 2-cylinder, petrol powered starting engine. The cooling system of the starting engine was connected to the main engine cooling system. When the main engine was warm enough, a clutch fitted to both engines was engaged to start the main diesel engine. Once it started the small petrol engine was turned off. 

WA Distributors (1947): Paterson and Co Ltd, 641 Wellington Street, Perth.  

Technical Specifications: Main engine: 2-cylinder, diesel engine with horizontal pistons. Bore 5¾” by 8” stroke with a maximum of 1,000rpm and achieving 51hp at the belt and 45.6hp at 800rpm. Gears provided a maximum speed of 11½ mph. Weight 7,400lbs. Starting engine: 2-cylinder, 4-stroke petrol engine running at 4000rpm.

History: This machine was purchased from a farm in the Brookton area. The Model R was the first of the diesel-engine tractors produced after the Model D (petrol/kerosene). This tractor was quite powerful and modern-looking considering the era of its construction.

John Deere R - 1949