THE GOLDEN ROLLs


| May/June 1989



I regret to announce the loss of my grandfather, HOWARD E. VAN DRIEST, of Concord Township, Painesville, Ohio on January 26, 1989. He was born July 13, 1910 in Euclid, Ohio.

Mr. van Driest began working for the Cleveland Tractor Company in the 1930's and eventually became Experimental Engineer. He was influential in the development of most of the models of Cletracs and, later, Oliver crawlers. (Oliver bought Cletrac in 1946.) He spent many hours in the dynamometer room, and made many trips to Hercules in Canton developing engines for the tractors. He also traveled all over North America, trouble-shooting and correcting problems nobody else could figure out. After Oliver Corporation shut down the Cleve-land Plant in 1961, he went into the excavating business with his son Howard.

Mr. van Driest collected many antique engines and tractors, including many Cletracs and a 28-50 Hart Parr. He also owned a 1930 Model A Ford coupe and a 20 HP Buffalo-Pitts steam traction engine, which he displayed at many shows in Ohio and Pennsylvania until last summer.

He was a director of the Pioneer Steam and Gas Engine Society of Northwestern Pennsylvania, and of the Historical Engine Society in Kirtland, Ohio. He was a member of the Ashtabula County Antique Engine Club, Penn-Ohio Model A Ford Club, U.S.D.A. Stabilization Ser-vice, and a life member of the National Rifle Association.

He is survived by his wife, Olive, one brother, Edward, in California, son Howard, daughter Gayle Malkamaki, four grandchildren, including myself, and two great-grandchildren.

Gramps and I were best friends and were almost always together since I was born. He taught me about everything I know about mechanics. Together, we restored a General tractor when I was ten. We got into this antique engine hobby in 1975. He always said that he 'brung me up' and I know he did it right.