| April 2001

Two of a Kind

Colorado Man Snaps Up Two of Five Prototypes

Photography by Emmett Jordan

If you've never heard of the Krause tractor, that's understandable. Only five - all prototypes - were ever made. Bob Baney, though, can tell you all about the Krause: he's restored two of them.

Krause Manufacturing, Hutchinson, Kan., had been in the farm machinery business for 70 years when the decision was made, in 1955, to build a tractor. Five prototypes - each with a torque converter - were produced.

The five prototypes were all the same model: Model 300. The model had a 331 industrial engine from the REO company. Krause made the frame, but the components came from different tractors: Allison torque converter, Clark transmission, Detroit Timken rear end, John Deere front end, seat and pedestal. After building five prototypes, the company's engineers decided all five had rear end problems. Company officials were quick to sense trouble, and the Krause tractor never went into production.

'The people that were doing the experimenting were given the first shot at buying the prototypes,' says Bob, who lives in Sterling, Colo. 'They were sold for little to nothing.'

Bob happened on to his by chance.