Farm Collector

Tractor Spotting

Those who plied their knowledge about old iron to the Tractor-Spotting quiz published in the August 2004 issue of Farm Collector will find the answers to those head-scratchers below. Use the information provided each tractor type on future tractor-spotting expeditions, and keep those eyes peeled for tractors and equipment lurking in the countryside.


Oliver Model 80 Row Crop

The Oliver Farm Equipment Co. introduced its row crop Model 80 in 1937. The model was produced until 1948, when it was replaced by a streamlined version. The Oliver Model 80 was initially available with a four-cylinder gasoline or distillate engine, and replaced later by a Buda-Lanova diesel by 1940. Oliver advertising bragged that ‘The ’80 will walk off with three fourteen-inch plows, an eight-foot disc plow or three buster bases in heavy soil. It will pull away, in high, with a ten-foot drill, plant with four-row equipment and cultivate with four-, six-or eight-row tools.’ Between 5,000 and 6,000 Oliver row-crop Model 80 tractors were built.


Cockshutt Model 30 Row Crop

Prior to World War II, the Cockshutt Plow Co. of Brantford, Ontario, Canada, sold tractors made by Oliver Farm Equipment Co. On Oct. 7, 1946, the first Cockshutt-built tractor – the Model 30 – rolled off the Brantford assembly line. The Model 30 was the first Canadian tractor used at the Nebraska test facility, where it put out 31.88 hp on the belt and 27.25 on the draw-bar. It was powered by a four-cylinder Buda engine, and was the first tractor with a fully independent live PTO. Model 30 production ended in March 1956, after 37,328 were built. The National Farm Machinery Cooperative later sold Co-op Model E-3 tractors manufactured by Cockshutt, which were identical to the Model 30 except for paint and decals. If you guessed either Cockshutt Model 30 or Co-op Model E-3, you’re correct.


Farmall Model C

International Harvester Co. introduced the Farmall Model C in 1948. Although the Model C used the same 3-inch bore and 4-inch-stroke engine as the smaller Model Super A, the Model C turned 250 rpm faster and developed about 3 more horsepower. The C was a tricycle-type tractor, could plant and cultivate two rows and handle one 16-inch or two 12-inch plows. A popular tractor, nearly 80,000 Farmall Model C tractors were sold before the Model Super C replaced it in 1951.


John Deere Model GP

Deere & Co.’s first attempt at a row-crop tractor to compete with the Farmall was introduced in 1927 as the Model C. Changed to the Model GP – or General Purpose – a short while later, the Model GP was a three-row machine with an industry first: a mechanical power lift to raise and lower integral three-row planters and cultivators. The three-row idea was also tried by Minneapolis-Moline Co., but never caught on with farmers. By 1935, Deere & Co.’s two-row, tricycle Model A was the tractor of choice, and the Model GP was dropped from the line-up. More than 30,000 Model GP tractors were built, not including GP wide-treads and other variants.


Allis-Chalmers Models B or C

In profile, the Allis-Chalmers Co. models B and C look very much alike, so either guess is technically correct. Introduced in 1937, at the unheard of price of $495 with rubber tires, the one-row, one-plow Model B was quickly accepted by small-scale farmers everywhere. The slightly more powerful tricycle Model C was introduced in 1940, which offered two-row capability. Model B production ended in 1957, after nearly 140,000 were produced. More than 84,000 Model C tractors were sold between 1940 and 1950, until the Model CA tractor was introduced.


Minneapolis-Moline Model RTU Universal

Minneapolis-Moline introduced the ‘vision lined’ Model RTU, also called the ‘Universal,’ in 1939. Rated to pull two 12-inch plows, the Model RTU was the first general-purpose tractor in America with an all-season ‘Comfort Cab.’ In 1940, Minneapolis-Moline offered a specially equipped Model RTU to solve ‘… the problem of undelivered mail in rural districts.’ Equipped with a cab, a high-clearance, wide-front axle, wide-front fenders and racks for carrying mail sacks – as well as a 19-mph top gear – the tractor was said to ‘… make delivery of mail a pleasant and simple task,’ regardless of deep mud or snow. The Model RTU developed 20 drawbar hp at the Nebraska facility and was produced until 1953.


J.I. Case Model VAC

Rated as a one- or two-plow machine, the Case V series was introduced in 1940 with a Continental L-head engine. In 1942, the VA series – which used a Case-made OHV engine – replaced the V series. The Model VAC used a tricycle configuration and could handle two-row equipment. The high operator’s platform and narrow hood gave the driver good observation for close cultivation of row crops. In addition to the Model VAC row-crop tractor, other designs included a Model VA standard tread, a Model VAO orchard, a Model VAI industrial and a Model VAH high clearance. VA series production ended in 1955.


Massey-Harris Pony

The one-row, one-plow Massey-Harris Co. Pony was added to the line-up in 1947, to do ‘… all jobs on the small farm … [and to replace] the last team on the large farm.’ Built at Massey’s Woodstock, Ontario, Canada, factory, more than 27,000 Pony tractors were sold from its 1947 introduction until production ended in 1954. In 1947, a Pony cost $685, although PTO and pulley, starter and lights were extra. Most Pony tractors were painted in traditional Massey-Harris colors, but some were painted Ferguson gray after the 1953 merger of Massey-Harris and Ferguson, Ltd., into Massey Ferguson Co.

  • Published on Sep 1, 2004
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