AntiqueTractorFilter: Find my dad a decal!
May 13, 2007 12:09 PM   Subscribe

Please help my father find as-original decals for the 1955 Ferguson 35 Deluxe tractor he's restoring!

My father's retiring this year, and one of the projects he's looking to take up is the restoration of his TO-35. The tractor is in very good shape mechanically, with low hours on the engine. He's already started what little mechanical work the beast requires. However, it's been around the block a few times and is in need of a new paint job and some body work. Part of that will involve removing and replacing the decals on the hood. He's been able to find "Massey-Ferguson 35 Deluxe" decals straight from Massey-Ferguson, but he'd really like to find somewhere to buy them as-original, without the "Massey-" prefix -- the tractor was built before Massey-Harris and Ferguson merged. Googling around has turned up nothing, and nobody at the tractor shops in his area has any idea. I'm thinking his best bet is to ask around at antique tractor shows, but since several folks were talking about Fergusons in that thread last week on brush-clearing, I thought someone here might have a lead.

I'm not sure if these are actually made anymore, or if he'd have to have a set custom made by someone in the graphics biz. I'm linking to two photos of the decals that're currently on the tractor: The big long "Ferguson 35 Deluxe" decal and the smaller "Ferguson System" decal. (Flickr self-links for convenience, if Jess/Matt/Cortex would prefer I'll try to find some more anonymous way to host them). I'm not sure if the red-on-silver color scheme is how they originally appeared, or what they've weathered to.

Any thoughts, hivemind?
posted by Alterscape to Grab Bag (5 answers total)
You could probably have something custom made, although sometimes with copyrighted materials or trademarks you don't own rights to, you have to look around a bit to find people willing to do the work. And you often have to furnish artwork, or pay art charges, which can be a pain, with no guarantee of it being truly "factory."

You might find Old Original Stock, but a tour of major Web indexes for original "Ferguson only" decals doesn't appear promising. In fact, I saw a number of "seek" postings for these on various Web boards, dated right up to March of this year, and not a single suggestion for a source, which I find somewhat surprising, considering how popular that tractor was. One thing that argues against this is the fact that sometimes in corporate acquisitions, old trademark materials are forcibly retired and destroyed, to facilitate replacement by new trademark materials, to limit the number and kinds of marks the new legal entity is obliged to enforce and defend. Plus, lots of dealers are likely to keep stock of Old Original Stock mechanical spares, but far fewer are willing to tie up inventory dollars for long cycles on slow moving trim.

Good luck. Were it me, I'd be spending my time looking for a good custom operation, and nailing down the artwork, including color shades, before doing anything to the decals that are on the tractor now. Having originals, however faded, to compare replacements to may be important. I suspect he may need 2 or 3 swings at this, to get it right.
posted by paulsc at 12:54 PM on May 13, 2007

I was just at the Pacific Coast Dream Machines show a couple of weekends ago. Awesome event, btw! There were lots of restored antique tractors, including this beautiful steamroller (sorry, I know it's beside the point).

Anyway, you're dad might want to try to join one of the local branches of the Early Day Gas Engine & Tractor Association, looks like they have swap meets and such that could be a good place to start.

Good luck to him.
posted by lannanh at 9:41 PM on May 13, 2007

You might try asking over here. Or perhaps the Ferguson Club might have a lead?
posted by jdfan at 5:38 AM on May 14, 2007

This man has a really good reputation making Allis Chalmers decals, and his web site doesn't say he is limited to AC. You might send him an email. I've never dealt with him, just heard about him on
posted by rfs at 10:08 AM on May 14, 2007

It is not uncommon for bicycle restorers to have these custom made in similar circumstances; another vote for the "get it made" camp.
posted by RikiTikiTavi at 11:32 AM on May 14, 2007

« Older Can a PAL Monitor/TV work in the US   |   Banjo tracks? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.