Showing their stuff

| December 2001

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    Leroy Fleisher
  • FC_V4_I05_Dec_2001_11-2.jpg
    Francis Sutherland

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  • FC_V4_I05_Dec_2001_11-2.jpg

In 1939 Francis Sutherland and his father saw a brand-new UDLX Comfortractor at Minneapolis-Moline's Pittsburgh branch factory. He didn't get to own it until 1974.

'Me and my Dad could have bought it for $1175,' he said. 'There were two at the branch. This was one of them. I kept watch on it ever since. I'm the third owner. They made them as a tractor and a car. They said you could plow all week, go to town on Saturday and go to church on Sunday. Farmers were just trading horses for steel at that time. MM built 350 of these Comfortractors. Eighty have been relocated but we don't know what condition they're in.'

Francis was one of many exhibitors at the Perry County Old Iron Collectors annual fall show held in the community of Ickesburg in south-central Pennsylvania. A resident of Harrisville, Pa., he has been going to shows for nearly 30 years and has never seen more than one Comfortractor anywhere.

'I go to about 15 to 20 shows a year,' he said. 'I've been to Paris, Ontario, twice, but mostly I go to Indiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania. I enjoy going to shows and seeing people looking at my tractor and wondering what it is. I see a lot of nice people. It's instant family.'

Francis said the Comfortractor's first owner only had one and a half acres so in 1943 he sold it to George Welch of Cooperstown, Pa.

He threshed with it for about 10 years - it was always outside,' Francis said. 'When I bought it in 1974 it had been in the lower story of a barn for years. He'd torn off the hood and the fenders and the head and just left it in the barn. It was a basket case when we got it. We hauled it home in pieces.'

stephen cohen
4/1/2009 7:37:27 PM

I have a bizzard #600. does any one have any info about this piece of equipment?


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