The year was 1950. A new business selling John Deere equipment to farmers needed a delivery truck. According to original receipts displayed in the Reynolds Farm Equipment display at the Indiana State Fair, the business found what it needed in a new 1950 Chevrolet 3600 pickup truck at the Oaklandon Sales Co. in Oaklandon, Ind., now a part of Indianapolis, located on the northeast side.
The dark-green pickup was purchased in July 1950. When all the figuring was done, the original receipt shows the company paid $1,400 for the brand-new truck. That included two optional items: a deluxe cab and a heater. Yes, a heater was optional equipment on a pickup in 1950.
Joe Reynolds owns the truck today and made it available for the display. It wasn’t exhibited empty, either. It carried unique cargo — the first John Deere model 110 garden tractor sold in Indiana. The model 110 helped launch the age of riding lawn mowers, which make up a sizable portion of many equipment dealers’ businesses today — especially ones located near suburban areas.
According to Reynolds Farm Equipment, John Deere manufactured and sold the model 110 garden tractor from 1963 through 1974. Note that this model in the bed of the Chevrolet delivery truck has rounded fenders. Those were used on the model 110 from 1963-67.
This may have been the first model 110 sold in Indiana, but it wasn’t the first one manufactured by the company. A model with a prior serial number is on display in the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C.
Odds are the deliveryman of the first model 110 garden tractor in Indiana had no idea he would become part of history!