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This John Deere D has working clothes on

Tom J. Bechman John Deere D tractor
ROUGH AND READY: This John Deere D is ready for action. It’s owned by Lee Guyer, Danville, Ind., and was exhibited at the 2021 Indiana State Fair.
Tractor Treasures: The John Deere D was a workhorse for nearly three decades.

Lee Guyer may not have the fanciest John Deere Model D in the world, but it’s an excellent example of the tractor that brought John Deere into the tractor game to stay. Guyer’s machine has its working clothes on and looks ready to go pull a load of hay or a plow.

Guyer, Danville, Ind., exhibited his John Deere D at the Indiana State Fair. Tractors came and went this year since the fair was broken up into four sections during its three-week run. This tractor was spotted on the third weekend. It was parked in the antique tractor display area behind the main buildings of Pioneer Village.

“Antique” is becoming a relative term. Built in 1929, the Model D was some 40 years older than an Allis-Chalmers 170 also parked in the display and considered an antique. The 170 dates to the 1970s.

According to, the John Deere D had a longer run than any other John Deere tractor ever built. It was manufactured from 1923 through 1953. There were unstyled versions like this one, and later there were styled versions. Drawbar horsepower was claimed to be 15, with belt horsepower claimed at 27. When a D was tested in the Nebraska Tractor Test, it produced just under 30 hp off the drawbar and over 41 hp off the belt.

In 1924, you could have bought a John Deere D for $1,000. It could pull a three-bottom plow with 14-inch plow bottoms.

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