Revamp Champs: Restoring a Massey-Harris 44 Special
Hard work pays off for this Pennsylvania FFA chapter: a beautifully restored Massey-Harris 44 AND a trio of awards.
By Marilyn Cummins | Photos By Edwin Remsberg
When you’re a group of young FFA members trying to make a rusty old tractor look and run like new, it helps to have your own “Massey-Harris guru.” That’s the name the Littlestown (Pennsylvania) FFA tractor restoration team gave to collector Rodger Brough, who donated his 1954 Massey-Harris 44 Special for their project. “He’s the sweetest person I’ve ever met,” says former chapter president Danielle Reed. Every Wednesday night for a year and a half, Brough drove the hour round trip from Aspers, Pennsylvania, to help coach the team’s work sessions and bring them parts he had from his days working for a dealer. “Any part and any number you need, he knows it by heart,” Reed says.
To restore the tractor to original dealer-floor condition, the team tore it down, rebuilt the engine, replaced parts, sandblasted, repainted and reassembled the tractor until it gleamed and purred. Reed’s favorite part was hand-painting the new Titan tires, complete with the FFA logo.
The team’s hard work paid off when it won three top awards in the 2018 Pennsylvania Farm Show Tractor Restoration Contest: best of show, best record book and best presentation. Pictured above are (seated, from left): Rebecca Lee and Jeremiah Koontz; (standing, from left): Billy Brown, Danielle Reed and Josh Kehne. Not pictured: Jason Penton and chapter adviser, Jesse Brant.