Homemade Tractors, Huber, Indiana and More

2006 Tri-State Gas Engine and Tractor Association Reunion puts spotlight on rare and unusual tractors.

| February 2007

  • GlenWickham.jpg
    A 1907 IHC 20 hp friction-drive tractor owned by Glen Wickham, Upper Sandusky, Ohio. The tractor was built by the Ohio Tractor Mfg. Co., Upper Sandusky, for the International Harvester Co., Chicago.
  • Titan.jpg
    A 1917 IHC 30-60 Titan owned by Wendel Kelch, Bethel, Ohio. During a four-year span beginning in 1913, IHC made the transition from evaporative cooling to a radiator system.
  • Buickturnedtractor.jpg
    A fine example of a homemade tractor, this 1917 Buick-turned-tractor is owned by Richard Ennis, Elwood, Ind.
  • ASwarmofBs.jpg
    A swarm of Bs owned by Ken Perrin, Princeton, Ill. Huber Mfg. Co. color-coded these tractors according to year of manufacture. The gray tractor was produced in 1938; green, 1937; red, 1941-42.
  • Indianatractor.jpg
    A 1920 Indiana tractor with an Oliver no. 61 mounted plow, both owned by Dwain Michael, Bryant, Ind.
  • MinneapolisMoline.jpg
    A 1938 Minneapolis-Moline UDLX owned by Don Wolf, Ft. Wayne, Ind. About 135 of these tractors were sold; few survive today.
  • 1927MinneapolisModel.jpg
    A 1927 Minneapolis Model A 17-30 tractor manufactured by the Minneapolis Threshing Machine Co., and owned by David Pyle, Kokomo, Ind. Note the idler pulley on the right front wheel, used to prevent belt damage.
  • RumelyGasPull.jpg
    A 1913 Rumely GasPull owned by Kent Kaster. Produced in small numbers, the GasPull is a rare tractor today.
  • Torogolfcoursetractor.jpg
    A 1934 Toro golf course tractor/truck owned by Don Wolf, Ft. Wayne, Ind. The unit is built on a Ford Model A chassis.
  • Gastractor.jpg
    The Boss: a 1923 Russell 20-40 gas tractor.
  • Russellslogo.jpg
    Russell’s logo featured a fierce bull, aptly nicknamed “The Boss.”

  • GlenWickham.jpg
  • Titan.jpg
  • Buickturnedtractor.jpg
  • ASwarmofBs.jpg
  • Indianatractor.jpg
  • MinneapolisMoline.jpg
  • 1927MinneapolisModel.jpg
  • RumelyGasPull.jpg
  • Torogolfcoursetractor.jpg
  • Gastractor.jpg
  • Russellslogo.jpg

Looking for a show featuring gas engines? The Tri-State Gas Engine and Tractor Association Reunion (Portland, Ind.) is the show to see. Held each August, the show got its start in 1965 as a venue for engine displays by southeastern Indiana, southwestern Ohio and Kentucky collectors.

But you'll see more than engines at Portland. Although the 2007 gas engine display drew nearly 1,800 engines, the show also drew some 720 gas tractors, 330 garden tractors, 19 steam engines, 545 model tractors, 131 model engines, 21 antique cars, 71 antique trucks and about 840 miscellaneous exhibits. The 2006 show featured exhibitors from 33 states, Washington, D.C., Canada and Australia.

Daily demonstrations included sawmill, shingle mill and buzz saw operations. Steam engines were on the job, and plowing demonstrations were held like clockwork. The Girard family demonstrated old-time methods of harvesting grain. They threshed wheat, demonstrated corn husking/shredding, shelling and grinding, and used silage equipment – all wearing the International Harvester label.

International was in fact the featured gas tractor at the 2006 show. The display included at least one of every early numbered series tractor (10-20, 15-30, 22-36 and so on), every Model F Farmall, every letter series Farmall and most of the number tractors from the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. The stars of the display were a 1906 friction-drive tractor, an early evaporative cooled 10-20 (just 85 of that model were built), 15-30 gas Moguls and a pair of enormous prairie tractors (a 30-60 Titan and 30-60 Mogul). Other crowd pleasers: an IHC cultivating tractor, an 8-16 Mogul, a 10-20 Titan and an 8-16 International. The display did not break the feature tractor record at Portland, but did boast an array of 365 IHC tractors.



Each day one could stand by and listen to the continual whomp-whomp-whomp of the friction-drive tractor, the muffled thumping of the big 30-60 Mogul and 30-60 Titan or the heavy roar of the 6-cylinder diesel industrial engine. Each tractor was operated at least twice daily and at different times, so enthusiasts could take it all in without missing a beat.

A casual tour of the tractor exhibit area is not sufficient to see all the rare and unusual tractors there. "Doodlebug" homemade tractors were very interesting; other standouts included Indiana, Huber, Minneapolis, Rumely GasPull, Russell and Toro golf course tractors. A brief history of each:



SUBSCRIBE TO FARM COLLECTOR TODAY!

Farm Collector April 16Farm Collector is a monthly magazine focusing on antique tractors and all kinds of antique farm equipment. If it's old and from the farm, we're interested in it!

Save Even More Money with our SQUARE-DEAL Plan!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our SQUARE-DEAL automatic renewal savings plan. You'll get 12 issues of Farm Collector for only $24.95 (USA only).

Or, Bill Me Later and send me one year of Farm Collector for just $29.95.




Facebook Pinterest YouTube

Classifieds