Cockshutt Crazy

A Wisconsin man’s collection includes two ultra-rare Cockshutt tractors, including a Golden Arrow.

| March 2018

  • Gary Rasmussen’s 1957 Golden Arrow has undergone an exacting restoration.
    Photo by Bill Vossler
  • Gary’s Golden Arrow has an adjustable front end, a feature that makes the tractor even more desirable.
    Photo by Bill Vossler
  • Gary has extensive experience with the Buda engines typically used in Cockshutt tractors.
    Photo by Bill Vossler
  • Gary with his Golden Arrow tractor. His is serial no. 16030, the 30th of perhaps only 135 built. He drives it in parades at the shows he attends.
    Photo by Bill Vossler
  • Gary painted his Golden Arrow twice. The color wasn’t right the first time, so he made a second go of it.
    Photo by Bill Vossler
  • Rear view of Gary’s Golden Arrow.
    Photo by Bill Vossler
  • This magnetic identification plate for Gary’s 1957 Golden Arrow fell off during a parade, but a good Samaritan returned it a couple of weeks later.
    Photo by Bill Vossler
  • The grille of Gary’s Golden Arrow shows careful restoration.
    Photo by Bill Vossler
  • These photos show Gary’s 1956 Cockshutt 40 Deluxe. After the tractor was pulled out of a salvage yard, it was discovered to be serial no. 31001 — the first 40 Deluxe built. All Cockshutt Deluxe tractors built in 1956 (and some of those built in early ’57) were badged as Black Hawk models when sold and/or shipped to the U.S.
    Photo courtesy Gary Rasmussen
  • This back view of Gary’s Cockshutt 40 Deluxe shows the 3-point hitch with the draft hydraulics system.
    Photo courtesy Gary Rasmussen

Gary Rasmussen got involved with old iron and Cockshutt tractors at the same time. His father, Melvin, bought a Cockshutt Model 40 in 1951 to use for logging in the Wisconsin woods.

“I grew up on our dairy farm, and ran mile after mile in the woods hooking and unhooking the skidding tongs,” Gary says, “so I also learned how to take apart those old Cockshutt tractors, and put them together again.”

In the 1990s, Gary’s brother Roy told him about the International Cockshutt Club, Inc. ( “That’s how I got involved in antique power,” he says. In April 1998, on another tip from his brother, the Wittenberg, Wisconsin, man attended an auction where a 1957 Cockshutt Golden Arrow tractor was being sold. “At that point I’d never heard of a Golden Arrow,” Gary admits. “But I went to the auction, examined the tractor a couple of days early and paid a lot of money to get it.”

The tractor was not in running condition. When Gary got it home and started monkeying with it, he found it had compression, so he knew the engine was good. He figured out that the points in the distributor were broken, and he got the tractor running.

Going down to nothing

At that point, Gary really went to work, removing the engine and cleaning it up. “I am very mechanically inclined, having grown up on a farm,” he says, “but I didn’t have to go through the engine or even remove the head or pan.”

He stripped the Golden Arrow down to nothing, removing all the sheet metal, the gas tank and the tires. Then he asked professional painter Jimmy Clemens to pay a visit and give him pointers on painting the tractor. After that, Gary hung the parts, sandblasted the tractor from top to bottom and added several layers of primer and paint. He also added new tires. “I worked day and night on it,” he recalls.

3/7/2018 11:20:37 AM

I have loved the look of cockshutt tractors ever since I went to my first antique tractor show. I also like the close looking cousin tractor of the Co-op tractor


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