Collecting Cockshutt & CO-OP

Indiana collector Allen Adams started with a 1942 CO-OP B-2, and his collection includes many rare Cockshutt and CO-OP tractors.

| June 2008

Pair spells tractor heaven for Indiana collector

When Allen Adams, Yoder, Ind., tagged along with a friend on a tractor mission, he got more than he bargained for. At a farm in rural Faribault, Minn., the two men - accompanied by a third man, a Lutheran minister - found an enormous collection of old iron. "There were tractors everywhere," Allen recalls. "Along both sides of the driveway all the way back to the farmstead. And beyond that, an entire field full of machinery." Allen was astonished. "This is how I visualize heaven," he told the clergyman. "As a minister, you'll understand that."

Allen and his wife, Coleen, are avid collectors of CO-OP, Cockshutt and Cockshutt Black Hawk tractors and machinery. A Cockshutt enthusiast, Allen served as a director of the International Cockshutt Club, Inc., for seven years.

Allen credits a 1942 CO-OP B-2 tractor with launching his collection. Several years ago, he and his brothers-in-law were helping salvage machinery from a collapsed barn when Allen saw the B-2. He asked the owner what he planned to do with the tractor and learned it was a family piece slated for restoration. Later, when the tractor became available at an estate sale, Allen bought it. He overhauled the engine and repainted the piece, and today it's at the center of his collection.

"It's fast and handy," he says. "When we shelled corn for the National Corn Huskers contest, I took my sheller out there with this tractor because it'll run down the road at 22 mph."

His collection includes several rare tractors, including a CO-OP D-3 dating to World War II, when new tractors were hard to come by. Just 200 of that model were built, he says, all in 1945 in Shelbyville, Ind. "This is an unusual piece," he explains. "It's kind of a hodgepodge mixture of an S-3 and the CO-OP No. 3. Farmers in Minnesota and the Dakotas wanted threshing machine tractors with Chrysler engines, so the war department allotted enough steel to National Farm Machinery Cooperative to enable them to manufacture 200 tractors. They were built so late in the war that they weren't scrapped like lots of other tractors were. There might be 25 of them still in existence."

The tractor's engine had been overhauled before Allen got it and it ran well. "I've got new tires on it, a new hood and grille, and had a new casting made for a piece that was missing," he says. "I've also replaced the air cleaner and it's ready to finish up."