PAL Tractor Beats the Odds

Rare PAL tractor escapes the scrap heap

| October 1999

Farming leads perhaps all other industries in applying good old American ingenuity to the challenge at hand. The PAL tractor is a classic example. Manufactured for no more than two or three years in the late 1930s, the PAL tractor was created with readily available parts. 

"They'd use a used car engine to build a tractor at a time when you couldn't get anything else," says Kenny Braesch, Marathon, Iowa. "They could take a car engine, motor, transmission and rear end, put it in a frame, and you'd have a tractor in a day. You supply a car, and they'd make a tractor."

The advent of World War II, however, derailed the undertaking. And in the post-war years, competition from mass-produced, streamlined tractors would have been overwhelming.

"During the war, even the little factories – if they were equipped at all – were converted to war use," Kenny says. "But even if there hadn't been a war, I don't think they would have succeeded: (the company) was too little."

Kenny has a vested interest in the PAL tractor: he has restored one of  the two known to exist. The word "rare" gets thrown around a lot these days, but his tractor fits the description.

"They started late, in 1935 or '36. By '38, they had 12 or 15 ready to sell," he says, "and then the war caught them. I have located 12 PALs, and 10 of those have been scrapped. There's one other one, also restored, and it's in Michigan."


Farm Collector April 16Farm Collector is a monthly magazine focusing on antique tractors and all kinds of antique farm equipment. If it's old and from the farm, we're interested in it!

Save Even More Money with our SQUARE-DEAL Plan!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our SQUARE-DEAL automatic renewal savings plan. You'll get 12 issues of Farm Collector for only $24.95 (USA only).

Or, Bill Me Later and send me one year of Farm Collector for just $29.95.

Facebook Pinterest YouTube


Copyright 2018, All Rights Reserved
Ogden Publications, Inc., 1503 SW 42nd St., Topeka, Kansas 66609-1265