100 Years of Cletrac

Hart-Parr/Oliver collectors celebrate Cletrac centennial at a summer show in New York.


| December 2016



HG wide

An Oliver HG wide track owned by Dave Hilliard, Sarver, Pa.

Photo by Paul Trowbridge

The Hart-Parr/Oliver Collectors Assn.’s annual Summer Show, celebrating 100 years of Cletrac, was held during the New York Steam Engine Assn.’s 56th annual Pageant of Steam, Aug. 10-13, in Canandaigua, New York.

The event was said to be the largest showing of Cletrac and Oliver crawlers ever. I counted more than 300 pieces of Oliver-related exhibits, ranging from a very unique Oliver baler to many Hart-Parr tractors. The feature tractor was the Cletrac Model F.

The two host organizations (and numerous vendors) were housed in a beautiful new barn that will be used for feature tractor displays in future shows at the Canandaigua grounds. Landis Zimmerman had a nice vendor spot and was a huge wealth of information on Cletrac tractors. He displayed Cletracs outside as well as all his vendor parts, and he was the keynote speaker at the banquet Friday evening. Landis is quite the historian on anything Oliver-Cletrac.

Marc Shuknecht, a member of the Empire State Oliver Collectors, said that club was very excited to host the event this year. In addition to helping with his fellow club members produce the show, Marc and his family transported at least 30 tractor exhibits to Canandaigua.

The oldest and the biggest

Bob Burkhouse, Bradford, Pennsylvania, displayed a 1945 Cletrac FDE – the biggest Cletrac I’ve ever seen, and the biggest Cletrac at the show – once used in the oil fields of Pennsylvania. I watched him unload it, put the blade back on and go push dirt alongside a Caterpillar D6, and the FDE did the same or better than the Cat.