OILY HANDS AND THE SMELL OF DIESEL: TALES OF A FORD DEALER ENGINEER IN THE 1960s
Author: David Harris
1960 saw the dawn of unprecedented innovation and development in farm machinery; a period of rapid technological advancement produced machines that are the mainstay of the current very buoyant vintage tractor restoration movement. At the start of the decade, spark-ignition Standard Fordson tractors still occasionally required repair; by the end of the decade, the Fordson Diesel Major had been replaced by the Ford 1000 series.
The history of these iconic brands is well-known; Oily Hands and the Smell of Diesel gives an alternative view - the inside story of the agricultural machinery repair trade. First employed as an apprentice, then moving his way up to an engineer, David Harris gives an entertaining, informative personal account of his time at a Ford main tractor dealership. While working on Ford, Fordson, County, Roadless, and Muirhill tractors, Chaseside loaders, Claas combines, and New Holland and Jones balers.
Including many historical photographs, David describes the technical challenges in detail and tells of the ups and downs of life in the workshop and out in the field. This book will be a must-read for anyone who is or was involved in the machinery industry, anyone looking to restore or repair vintage agricultural machinery, and anyone with a general interest in farming and machinery history.