Some Background:

(Written 5/97 for my membership profile in the Antique Tractor Group)


Name: Jim Pfrommer
Day Job: Currently starting a business of buying, restoring and selling collectibles, especially early pickup trucks and farm machinery. I was a self-employed solo practice physician back in PA, but decided to leave the practice of medicine because of the many changes that resulted from a serious motorcycle accident. I really re-thought my life after surviving a motorcycle vs. semi accident (I wasn't driving the truck). I guess near-death experiences have a way of making life look a lot different.

Residence: Presently in South Waco Texas. This is a temporary situation as the house is located in a suburban development on about 1/2 acre. I am currently about out of storage for any more vehicles, but that hasn't stopped me from continuing to look.
My goal is to find a piece of land suitable for a small working ranch. I would to do as much of the work as possible with antique farm machinery and draft horses.
On Oct 13, 1997 I looked at a Christmas Tree farm near here, but unfortunately it appears overpriced. I will keep looking for a suitable home for Goodwrench's CyberRanch.

Prior Farming Experience: From about 1972 to 1980 my father, our friend Earl, and I farmed about 100 very fertile Pennsylvania acres. We primarily grew corn, hay, and soybeans. We also bred and raised Quarter horses, finished steers, and farrowed Yorkshire pigs. I picked up extra money by raising veal from the calves supplied by neighboring dairy farmers when they freshened their cows.
Our family bred, broke, raised and showed registered Quarter Horses. I was in my first horse show at age 4. I did OK in that show despite loosing my boot because it was hard to find boots small enough for me at that time. I had the smallest youth saddle, and that even had to have custom made extra small fenders so that the stirrups would be short enough for my legs to reach. Even before we began farming for real, we raised all the hay for our horses and I was responsible for their morning feeding and watering, as well as completely cleaning their stalls every Friday after school. We attended about 50 shows per year. By the time I was about 15 years old, I had pretty much lost interest in the showing, and immediately upon turning 16 and getting my drivers license, I began racing motocross bikes.

Significant others: Deborah Root, and Jake the Border Collie Puppy.

Equipment Owned: Unfortunately, I am currently tractorless.
Here in Texas I have my 1941 Ford pickup as well as a 1956 Chevy pickup, (neither running).
Still in PA: 1934 Ford dump truck, 1946 Ford 1.5 ton flatbed, as well as assorted 1940 Ford passenger cars and an old one cylinder hit & miss engine that I picked up at an auction and haven't done anything with yet.
My father is still using our Farmall H, Case 570 with loader, Case 1070, and Farmall 706.
Shop and Tools: Though my things are currently stuffed into a two car garage along with my Jeep, dirt bike and Harley, I have: ShopTask Mill-Drill-Lathe combo, Tip pressure sandblaster, Lincoln MIG welder, oxy-acetylene torch and an excellent selection of mechanical and body work tools.
I have to move things around any time I want to work on anything, and often end up working out in the direct Texas sun. I have a great tan, but learned to leave my hand tools in a shady area after burning a blister on my finger with a 9/16" wrench that had been left in the direct sun.
Tractor and Equipment Hauling: 1996 Ford F-350 1 ton dually named Gus, with a wide 16' low bed open gooseneck trailer named Tanya. I have already made four runs between Texas and Pennsylvania. Fuel mileage with the 7.3 litre turbocharged Powerstroke diesel drops to around 10 mpg with loaded trailer when speeds go over 65 mph. The problem is that many of the tractors that really appeal to me would be an overload for Tanya. That's why I'm looking for an old Mack semi tractor and lowboy trailer (see Wanted Page).

Tractors I'd like to own: Case L on steel, and LA on rubber, Ford N series, Farmall Super C, and something very early, like a McCormick Deering.

Prior Tractor Restoration Experience: My great-uncle, George W. Balthaser, was a Case dealer in Wernersville, PA from the 1930's through the 1980's. When his main man Ernie attempted to rebuild the engine on a Case SC that they had taken in trade, it ended up getting four new sleeves and pistons, as well as the bearings replaced and the head redone. By this time they had more money in it than they could hope to sell it for, so Uncle George put a NOS magneto and carb on it and gave it to me. While the rest of my family watched football on television, I spent one winter completely disassembling, cleaning, straightening, and painting. Wheels and cast parts were painted with a brush, and I learned to spray enamel with the Flambeau Red on the sheet metal. The PTO cover came out so beautiful that I never could bring myself to install it.
I used that tractor for many hours cultivating corn, both my own as well as custom work for other farmers. That tractor also served as my motorized transport until I was old enough to get my drivers license.
Unfortunately, in a temporary lapse of sanity, my father traded the SC toward the new Case 1070 we bought. I believe the dealer is still displaying it in his show room.

Things I Can Help Other Collectors With: Research, some local hauling, labor and tools.

Other Hobbies: Tool collecting, both antique and modern. I have a special emphasis on the tools of timber framing, and most of my tools are tuned up, sharpened, and used. Long time member of the Early American Industries Association. I am a big fan of early timberframe barns, especially Pennsylvania Dutch stone bank barns.
Motorcycling, computers, handgun shooting and reloading


Current Projects:
1. Re-learning how to paint with the new paints and modern HVLP equipment, and assembling a tractor painting FAQ. Some of my current painting lessons are described on my
Painting page.
2. Learning how to create
Web sites . Figuring out how to add backgrounds to pages, and learning more HTML character formatting.
3. Getting the
ranch in shape.
4/23/98 We may have found a ranch. It's a 24 acre property outside of Chilton Texas. It already has a four stall horse barn and a 35' x 65' metal shop building. Hopefully we will be putting in an offer in the next day or two. It looks like I may have to go back to doing some psychiatry for a while, but it will be worth it.
4. Training and bonding with
Jake, my Border Collie puppy.
5. Learning about
draft horses and their use.


Future Projects:

There are still plenty of vehicles back in Pennsylvania.
Here's a 1940 Ford Coupe and a 1957 Chevy awaiting their turn to come to the CyberRanch


Acknowledgements:
Thanks to my Texas Tractor buddy, Tw for scanning and preparing all the initial photos for this Web site.
Also thanks to Kate Smalley for her support of my efforts at Web Site creation.


Since I wrote another introduction for the Chevy Truck Group, I'll include it here as sort of an update from 5/97 to 12/98

I only found this list about two months ago, but I've really enjoyed it already. I'd been on a list for the other brand of trucks, but since my other brand truck is a 1941 and the list was mostly about 1947 to 1956 models, there weren't a lot of specifics for me.
I moved from PA to Texas about two years ago, and shortly after I got here I found a 1956 Chevy that seemed to be in decent shape and was very cheap. I have a lot of projects going at once, so I've only had small pieces of time to work on Zeke the '56 Task Force. The truck came with a later model inline 6 that wasn't running, so that's on a pallet in my shop now, awaiting a new home. I have an older 283 and 4 speed Muncie that will be going in. The wiring was in such a mess I've finally realized that filling the firewall, painting, and other jobs will be much easier if I just yank all the old wiring out. I'll be looking for people's experiences when it's time to choose a wiring kit. The front fenders aren't bad for an old Task Force and the only other rust is on the floor boards since the truck sat out with the window broken. Now that the front sheet metal is pulled off I can get in to patch that fairly easily. I was really surprised to learn that the top of the gas tank was rusted out. I wanted to get it out of the cab and back between the frame rails where it belongs anyway. Does anyone have any good tips on what tank to mount back there and how to mount it? This is not intended to be a show truck, just a general driver that I can actually haul some stuff around in. Since finding this list I've been getting much more motivated to get back to work on Zeke.
I also collect and restore antique farm tractors and implements. I've been setting up a little ranch and now have some longhorn cattle and some chickens. The place came with a good sized metal building, but the bad news is that only half of it has a floor. The good news is that the half that has the cement floor also has a lift. A lot of my non-ranching time has been taken up with unpacking my parts, tools and supplies and setting up the new shop. I'm obviously saving up for a nice big cement pour among other things. I have a turbine HVLP sprayer with fresh air system so I've been having fun learning to paint with the PPG catalyzed urethanes. All my prior painting experience was 20 years ago and mostly with lacquer. I also enjoy motorcycles, hand gun shooting, reloading, and off roading in my Jeep Wrangler. My web page reflects many of my wide range of interests.
Due to a motorcycle accident leaving me no longer in private psychiatric practice, I recently had to begin working off the ranch to get the cash flow back to positive again. I'm currently working at our local Veterans Hospital in psychiatry. This has taken a big chunk of time away from my projects, but the check sure is worth it. Since I've given up all hope of ever attaining the psychiatric practice that I had been building before my motorcycle accident, I'd ultimately like to make a living with a combination of ranching and doing truck work on both older trucks and 4x4's. In addition to the cattle and chickens I have a new lovely wife (goodwench) who is totally supportive of my interests in the old trucks. I have no children, but do have a great Border Collie named Jake. Jake has even traveled with me on my trips between PA and Texas.

It's tough to see much progress on any one thing when I jump from project to project. At least it always holds my interest that way, and there's always something else to do when one of the projects hits one of those inevitable snags that need thinking and time to work out. The type of material and the personalities I've seen here on the lists are great. I'm really glad I found the list. Thanks Miq and all the other people that contribute and lurk

goodwrench

12/29/98


1/8/06 Wow, guess I let the site go down a bit (6 years) as I've worked on building The CyberRanch. The ranch is now up to 208 acres, and the shop has been more than doubled.
I'm currently interested in getting back into mountain biking as aerobic exercise is so good for me in many ways. Full suspension bikes are neat machines in their own sense.
Wireless networking and Tablet computers have also caught my fancy. I'll get to more detail on the Computer page.

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updated 1/6/06