2004 - Volume #28, Issue #5, Page #18[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Rare Side-By-Side Tractor Completes Lee Collection
Now 83 years old, Harry recently sent us photos of his "newest" tractor, which he did not build but which fits right in with his collection. It's a 1956 factory-built prototype from Garrett Mfg. of Enumclaw, Wash., and is called the Twin Drive 400 IHC diesel. Two tractors with identical engines mount side by side. The tractor has two transmissions, and each engine drives its own set of wheels. Harry bought the tractor in January 2002. He hauls the tractor - along with all his other home-built models - to shows throughout the U.S.
"It handles beautifully. I really enjoy driving it, especially since I built my own Farmall F-20 twin engine tractor that is somewhat similar," says Harry. "The diesel engines each have about 60 hp. At the time it was made, it was the largest farm tractor equipped with rubber tires and weighed 15,380 lbs. When I first got the tractor I used it to pull a 4-bottom plow and a 15-shank field cultivator. Now demonstrating it at shows is my full-time hobby.
"The tractor was originally owned by a Washington farmer who used it for 30 years. He estimates the tractor traveled about 96,000 miles during its career in the field. Garrett Mfg. repurchased the tractor from the sons of the original owner in 1985 and then two years ago I bought it from them. The engine was overhauled once, and the original tires were replaced after they wore out. Otherwise, it has required only routine maintenance."
To honor the original builder, Harry left the Garrett name on both sides of the tractor. "Mr. Garrett is 87 years old now but he still stays in touch with me," says Harry. "For him it's a great thrill to know his tractor is still out there in the public eye and that people recognize him as the builder. He recently sent me a check for $100 and told me to take my wife out to dinner."
Harry recently drove the tractor in a parade at the National Red Power Show in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, and also demonstrated it in a tractor pull. "I did a corkscrew spin by putting one side of the tractor in reverse and the other in forward and went around and around like a doughnut. A lot of people used their video cameras to film the event. It seemed like everyone had a video camera. After the pull, one guy came up to me and said he would liked to have had all the money that was spent on video film that day. "
Lee has appeared in shows as far away as Florida and Texas. After this year he will cut back considerably.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Harry Lee, P.O. Box 119, Elnora, Ind. 47529 (ph 812 692-5216).
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