Carl Nawman, South Charleston, Ohio, owns several CAST tractors. He says he likes the “oddball” stuff. To prove it, he has a number of small homemade articulated tractors that he calls his “toys,” all put together from lawn and garden tractor parts.
Speaking of rare tractors, he also has an Astoa, another small European tractor I’d never heard of. The Astoa was made in the 1970s and ‘80s by Talleres mecánicos Echazarreta (Mechanical Workshop Echezarreta), in Vitoria, Spain. The city of Vitoria-Gasteiz is the capital of Álava, a province on the Bay of Biscay in the north of Spain. In fact, the name of the little tractor, Astoa, is the Basque word for “donkey,” and the logo on each side of the Astoa tractor’s fuel tank shows the head of a burro inside a circle.
Built from 1971 until 1989, Astoa tractors were powered by engines from Lombardini, Ruggerini and MWM-Diter, in sizes from the 11 hp Astoa H1590, a horticultural (which in Europe means garden or truck farming and often walk-behind) tractor, up through the 43 hp Astoa H4500.
Carl’s H3000 model was built beginning in 1975 and is powered by a Ruggerini, 2-cylinder, air-cooled diesel engine of 28 hp. Ruggerini Motori S.p.A. was founded in 1919 in Reggio Emilia, Italy, and built 1- to 3-cylinder air-cooled diesel engines from 4.5 to 38 hp. Lombardini Fabbrica Italiana Motori S.p.A., also from Reggio Emilia, bought the Ruggerini firm in 1999.
Not much information is available about the Astoa tractors, and Carl would like to hear from anyone who has further information. He can be contacted through the author. FC
Sam Moore grew up on a farm in western Pennsylvania. He now lives in Salem, Ohio, and collects antique tractors, implements and related items. Contact Sam by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read more in Made in Italy: CAST Tractors.