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Thrifty Farmer Tractor
With a $100 kit, a few basic tools and an old Model A or T, farmers could make their own tractors in the ’30s during the Depression. Though they only moved at speeds up to 4 mph, the tractors were economical and useful for farming.
“They could do the work of 2 to 4 horses, and tractors don’t get tired,” says John Crofoot, who has owned two kit-conversion tractors.
The Michigan collector sold his first one, a 1925 Ford Model T Chassis with a Sears conversion kit, to an Illinois Sears tractor collector.
For the time being, Crofoot plans on hanging on to his 1928 Ford Model A tractor he purchased in 2014.
“In 25 years, I’ve only seen 4 or 5 of them,” Crofoot says. His tractor was in good condition when he bought it.
The Sears kit that converted the Model A to a tractor was called Thrifty Farmer. Sears was one of the first companies to get into tractor conversion kits.
“The kits were designed so there was no welding. They just cut things, and it bolted to a car frame,” he explains. The kit included the framework, axles, wheels and gears in the wheel. While the bigger wheels reduced the mph, it gave the tractor better traction and ground clearance.
The tractor Crofoot purchased had spade lugs on the rear wheels, which he removed and replaced with rubber tread to avoid damaging his trailer.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, John Crofoot, New Era, Mich. (ph 231 301-4867; aero2831@gmail.com).

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2020 - Volume #44, Issue #2