Collecting Cockshutt & CO-OP
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Two of the tractors were in very good shape when he acquired them from collectors, but the No. 2 was rough. "It had been sitting in a barnyard for 14 years," he recalls. "The engine was junk: It had had too much water in it for too many years, and it was just completely gone."
Six months later he learned of a Massey 82 combine being scrapped. It had a Chrysler engine that was a perfect fit for his CO-OP No. 2. After discussing the engine with the farmer, Allen offered $150 for the engine. "You don't understand," the farmer said. "When that engine leaves here, it is going to be in that combine. Tell me when you're ready to come get it. I'll put in a battery and you bring 5 gallons of gas and you can drive it home." Allen didn't bat an eye. "It took me two and a half hours but I drove it home," he says. "That proves it was a good engine."
Today, the No. 2 is in good shape. "We call it 'Old Herman,'" he says. "It pulls a 2-bottom plow with no problem."
His No. 3 is original, including 8-inch pie-face headlights. "It's never had anything done to it except to replace a starter solenoid." The tractor has one unusual feature, a valve lubricator. "It works off the vacuum side of the engine," Allen says. "There is a little needle valve that you adjust and it allows oil to mix in the fuel going into the intake manifold."
Allen also has a 1937 Cockshutt 18-28 from western Canada, a remnant of the era when Cockshutt sold Oliver tractors (a 1929 merger with Hart-Parr means this was essentially an Oliver-Hart-Parr tractor wearing Cockshutt decals). He put a new hood and fenders on the tractor, which dates to the final year Cockshutts were painted green. "It's a fine looking tractor," he says.
His 18-28 sports decals in a shade called International Harvester Omaha Orange, a perfect match for the original paint. "I had orange paint mixed to match the decals and used that on the wheels," he says. "That's the color they used when the tractors were sent to western Canada as a Cockshutt Hart-Parr." Similar models shipped to the U.S. were painted green with red trim.
Colors can be deceiving, as Allen discovered six years ago when he spied what was billed as a Cockshutt 50 diesel on eBay. "It was the ugliest pink color I had ever seen," he recalls, "but the sheet metal looked straight and the guy claimed it ran good. And the price looked reasonable." Allen asked Andy, his son-in-law, to keep an eye on it and let him know what happened. The next day, when Allen asked about the auction, Andy said the tractor had been removed from the site with no explanation.