2009 - Volume #33, Issue #2, Page #28[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
He Rides In Style On Oliver Golf Cart
Though it looked like an Oliver tractor front, Weyhrich learned that son-in-law Gary Berchtold, a machinist, had built it from scratch with precision CNC machining.
"He's never seen an Oliver tractor in his life," Weyhrich says. "He had a toy and a picture, and he went from there."
The tractor mechanic said he and his wife enjoy going to farm shows, but after years of being on his feet at work all day, it was getting difficult to walk around. He purchased a used golf cart to take to shows.
Weyhrich's wife, Millie, asked Berchtold if he could add some Oliver features to the cart, similar to the Oliver 88 Weyhrich's father owned. Berchtold took it much farther.
"I hand-wrote all the CNC programs, based off a toy tractor and scaled it by eye," Berchtold says. The most challenging part was the hood, which he cut out of an old aluminum highway sign. Because it had been painted, it was difficult to weld.
"He even made the exhaust pipe," Weyhrich says proudly. "The umbrella says Papa's LIL 88." He and Millie take it to farm shows and drive in parades.
"It takes a long time to get through a show because every 20 ft. or so we have to stop and get our picture taken," Weyhrich laughs.
The 9 hp Kawasaki gas engine goes a long way on a couple of gallons of gas, and the cart travels at speeds up to 22 mph. There's lockable storage space under the hood for a cooler, jackets and other items. The back folds down so the cart can be used to haul tools for yard work.
As a businessman, mayor and road commissioner of San Jose, Ill. (pop. 670), Weyhrich has plenty of opportunities to ride his Oliver golf cart at events. This year he plans to commute the nine blocks to his shop every day. Last fall his village passed an ordinance allowing licensed, insured ATV's and motorized carts on city streets.
Besides being handy, the Oliver cart brings back good memories.
"When my Dad retired and sold out, I wasn't able to get the old Oliver Super 88 at the sale and have regretted it ever since," Weyhrich says. Papa's LIL 88 lessens that regret.
"I'm glad he's proud of it," Berchtold says. He has the plans he used for his CNC Haas machine and is willing to talk to anyone interested in a similar project. Contact him by email or through his website, www.digenterprises.net.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, George Weyhrich, 119 Payne St., San Jose, Ill. 62682 (ph 309 247-3502; firstname.lastname@example.org).
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