Reining in the Power Horse Tractor
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But in the post-war tractor boom, AC officials opted to stick with the models they were already equipped to build.
The Power Horse was next produced by the Harris Manufacturing Company in Stockton, Calif. Production there ran from 1949 to 1964.
"The Harris Power Horse was a bigger tractor, and was controlled from the tractor seat," Bertha says. "There was a front driver's seat for the industrial model, and a rear driver's seat for the farming model."
A Harris is the newest addition to the Haddens' stable of Power Horses, which started with the purchase of the Eimco about 10 years ago. They get a kick out of showing their Power Horses.
"It is a little odd to see a tractor driven with reins," Bertha says, "but we hope people enjoy seeing it as much as we enjoy showing it."
It's not a tractor you see at every show.
"People who see it say 'I've been farming all my life, and I've never seen anything like that,'" Paul says. "There's maybe 20 running, and another 10 or 15 we know of that aren't running."
The Power Horse was built for a short time, in limited production, on a shoestring.
"It was kind of a backyard operation, even from the start," Paul says. "They just didn't have the money to get it going. The cheapest part was the part they used."
Even the tractor's color was dictated by economics.
"They came in whatever paint they could get cheap," he says. "Some were light tan, but there was also black, orange and copper."
Paul, a house painter all his life, was born and raised on a farm.
"We moved to town when I was 11," he says, "but I drove a John Deere tractor before we moved. Then, 10 years ago, Bertha let me have a tractor. It was a '49 John Deere B - newer than what I had driven as a kid, but it was close enough."
The couple's collection includes a 1921 Cletrac ("Bertha's tractor," he adds), an Empire Leader bought from the late Ed Spiess, an unidentified garden tractor, John Deere, McCormick Deering orchard tractors, and a 9N Ford on stilts.
"The Ford's steering wheel is nine feet up," Bertha says. "These tractors were used for spraying corn and other tall crops. But some people said they were for farmers who wanted to 'get up' in the world!" FC
For more information: Paul and Bertha Hadden, (760) 329-7657.
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