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Pedro's Aussie Bruiser

With all the discussion activity on the Net, whether it be through Chat Sessions or Forums, it always seems to bring out great moments of interaction and stories from people, which are always fun to read and share.

One such person, Pedro, as a FSA Forum Member, has shared a great story with us, with references also made from the following Forum Posts ............

Personally, I must say I had a lot of fun preparing this page, given that the degree of discussion to this topic was extremely active, and offered a lot of amusement.

Well Done to all involved.


After moving to Louth Bay from Adelaide I bought an old netting boat so I could fish the local bays. Well at Louth there is no boat ramp and its beach launch.

After using my tojo troopie 4wd to launch me old tub I started to have trouble with brakes and wheel bearings rusting plus the old drum brakes took forever to dry making braking a problem for many miles afterwards.

So I thought it was time to source a tractor and given this is a farming area I thought there should be plenty to choose from. Well one day just before christmas I was working outside the cummins council yard and there she was an old fordson major.

The fellow across the road who has a trucking business told me he put it there 6 years ago and it was owned by a farmer who was trying to sell it. He also told me the farmers name, so after a couple of months of trying to contact him, I finally reached him.

I told him I'd seen it and how much did he want for it and he said 200 dollars, straight away I haggled him down to 150 dollars and he said ok.

I said "I suppose I should go back and take a closer look and see if she runs". Toothy ( a Lincoln local) and myself headed up there and inspected the old girl, and after a closer look the radiator bottom tank was rusted out being cast iron and I said to Toothy "even if I cant fix it, I will be able to modify it to an ordinary car one".

Plus someone had removed the gearbox and diff inspection plates, and hadn't put any bolts back in so both were full of water to the brim.

We decided to try start it by the crank but without success, so towing her was next. After a couple of laps round the yard the old girl fired and off I drove around back to where we had her parked, in about 1 minute of running it drank 1.5 litres of fuel so I knew the float level was stuck or incorrectly adjusted.

It also had no exhaust pipe so it was loud and popping her head off. Trying to get hold of Phil the farmer was a daunting task as he was living on the farm and also transporting to his home in Coffins Bay.

Well after a while, I raised him and informed him how many things were wrong with the tractor and I said it wasn't worth 150 bucks, gee I love to haggle.

After awhile discussing the problems I said bugger it and offered Phil 50 bucks, knowing I had the experience to fix her. He said that he wanted at least 100 dollars so lets meet in the middle and finally agreed on 70 dollars, yahoo I thought, what a bargain.

I rang me mate Toothy and said wonder how we are going to get it to my place and would it fit on a car trailer. A couple of days later I decided to go to Lincoln and hire a trailer, but not booking one, there wasn't one available, so Neville the iceman as he is known said I could borrow his little 3 ton truck.

Well Toothy availed himself to come along and help, so off we went to Cummins. On arrival, the gate was locked, so I had to go down to the Chambers and get the key.

The first thing I did was remove the carby and free up the float and tow started it, lucky there was a loading ramp there so it made things easier.

Loaded up, off we went to Louth Bay, at Louth there was a small driveway near the jetty with a pile of dirt at the end of it,so we backed up to it and used the troopie to pull the tractor off the truck.

Then we towed it to my place and put it under the carport.

Seeing I was going to Adelaide in a couple of days, I removed the radiator so I could take it into Toothy's brother to be welded. When I arrived back from the big smoke, I went round Chubbies with a dozen beers for him for the welding job.

To put the radiator back on, I had to use a ratchet winch as it weighed 40 kilos plus. Gee lining up the bolts was a task in itself.

Next was the diffs and gearbox which had to be drained. I washed them out with kero and then sprayed all the cogs with crc to stop any rusting.

I decided the tractor needed a name and what better way to do this by running a comp in fishsa with a box of beer for the winner.

The winner ended up being Mick Brennan, who was rapped with the win. The name was Aussie Bruiser (though Ozzy Bruiser was initially decided, but a typo in the making of the stickers saw otherwise !) and seeing the color scheme was purple and pink it suited the old girl.

Next I asked Neville what the age was and he said probably round the 1949 mark. After some internet searching, I found it to be a 1951 model. Well another trip to the big smoke and I bought the oil for the boxes and scabbed some paint from my soon to be son-inlaw Sam.

Some weeks passed and I received an email from squidley who had a sticker business (aussie stickers) and he offered to donate the stickers for the project. That was muchly appreciated, as I hadn't even met the man.

My next trip to adelaide I met up with squidley and was handed the stickers. On the Easter Friday, I filled the gearbox and diff, which took 42 litres in the end. Plus fitted the exhaust pipe.

Then that afternoon, Toothy turned up with his beaver spray unit and said lets paint the guard to see the color. Well he couuldn't stop, so the first coat was on.

Saturday arrived and we packed the boat and went to start the tractor, 15 minutes later and halve a can of "start ya bastard", no go. Couldn't beleive it after a month of regular starting after one turn I thought the old bag didn't like the new paint job.

Just when I was going to tow start her she fired into action, so off we went. The next day we went to go out again, Renee said she wanted to start it and I laughed, but her persistance paid off and she fired her up. So seeing Ozzy was with us, we stayed out after dark trying to catch snapper, but none were around.

When we got back to the beach, I could not get her going and a bloke on the beach gave me a tow but when it did start it was only on one cylinder and wouldn't rev up. I could see one of the leads was arcing out on the magneto box.

I decided to unhitch the trailer and walk up and get the Tojo, after I took the boat home we went back for the tractor, all the way back I tried firing her up but not a sound. Well you wouldn't beleive it, when it was back home I checked the fuel tank and it was empty.

Only travelling 450 metres at best for six litres we thought some bugger had milked her. Speaking to my neighbour the next day he said that they are very thirsty so I will have to keep an eye on that.

On Wedenesday, the kids and Ozzy started to pack to leave and I started to put the stickers on, only to notice that the stickers said Aussie instead of Ozzy.

Maybe it was a marketting move by squidley to get his company name on the tractor, Ozzy said he didn't mind, plus how do ya tell a bloke he buggered up when they were free.

I also plastered her with stickers and on Anzac Day, my wife and I painted the pink bits. Sue even painted me nuts haha ! All I have to do now is source a starter motor, but for now the crank will do.

I hope I've mentioned everyone concerned and a big thanks goes out to them all, so if any members are over this way and have a boat and want to launch at Louth Bay, they can use it by all means as long as they put petrol in it.

Hope you have enjoyed the novel, bye for now and keep them lines tight.

Pedro the fisherman.

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