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World's "First And Only" Chevrolet Tractor

FARM SHOW has featured quite a few tractors over the years powered by Chevy engines. But they have always been repowered machines, where the original engine had been replaced.
  That's not the case with this one-of-a-kind "Chevrolet tractor" owned by Dale Hall of Mount Washington, Ky. It was originally equipped with a Chevrolet 216 cu. in. engine and a 4-speed transmission and manual shift, two-speed rear end.  
  The tractor is a one-of-a-kind prototype, without a pto, hydraulics, belt pulley, or power lift of any kind. "All those features would've been added if the tractor had ever gone into production," notes Hall.
  He acquired the tractor in 1991 when he answered an ad in a local paper about a truck for sale. When he went to see the truck, he happened to see an old tractor in the barn. Right away he knew it was unusual, so he bought it and left the truck.
  The previous owner remembered seeing the tractor sitting idle on his neighbor's farm when he was a kid. Upon asking about the tractor, the young man was told he could have it. He later did some research into the unusual tractor.
  After World War II ended, a deaf and mute man named Nutter built the tractor in his garage, hoping to interest General Motors in manufacturing it. It was well known that the company wanted to get into the tractor business. He used a 1 1/2-ton Chevy truck engine, transmission, and rear end - common parts that he thought would help keep the production cost down. When the prototype was finished, someone from Chevrolet in Detroit came to look at it. Unfortunately, the company's plants were all operating at full capacity in the post-war boom so no deal was ever worked out.
  When he got it, the tractor's engine block was cracked so it sat in his garage for 10 years. Two years ago, his wife urged him to put the tractor back together so he started working on it.
  "I've tried to restore the tractor to as near its original condition as I could," says Dale. "It runs now and I've taken it to a couple of shows. The tractor had sat out for so long that you couldn't even tell what color it had been. One day I discovered that it was painted dark blue when I took the tractor apart and saw the top part of the rear end housing. I got the paint code number so I was able to get the original color duplicated at a local auto paint shop.
  "The tractor is equipped with side covers that fold up like the ones on a Model A car. However, they were all beat up and rusted. I don't have them fixed yet. The hood is hinged at the rear, with a latch at the front so it can be raised for service."
  Dale says that because the tractor has a truck engine and transmission and 36-in. high tires, it's geared too high and needs another gear reduction between the rear end and the rear wheels.  
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Dale Hall, 1516 Bogard Lane, Mount Washington, Ky. 40047 (ph 502 538-7213).

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2004 - Volume #28, Issue #4