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First Deere Tractor (Additional Dains)
Frank Hansen's 1918 Deere "Dain" tractor (Vol. 7,No. 5) is not the only one in existence, according to antique tractor enthusiasts who've contacted FARM SHOW. There's a second Dain in Illinois, a third, partial one in Nebraska, and a rumor of a fourth that's tied up somewhere in estate proceedings in Iowa.
Hansen, of Rollingstone, Minn, had sued Deer to keep the company from calling the 1923 Mode D the "first to bear the John Deere name", claiming instead that his 1918 Dain was actually the first. Hansen won his suit and now exhibits the tractor of which a limited run of only about 200 were built between 1916 and 1919 at shows through out the Midwest.
Roger Baumgartner, Walnut, Ill., told FARM SHOW about the "latest" Dain:
"In 1976, F.L. Williams donated a Dain tractor which he found along a rural Iowa road some 31 years ago to the Northern Illinois Steam Power Club in Sycamore, Ill. Although it is missing some parts such as the wheel lugs and the hood over the engine compartment and has the wrong radiator it is definitely a Dain. It's serial number indicates that it was the 34th Dain built, 45 ahead of Hansen's."
Baumgartner flew out to California to bring the tractor back to Illinois in 1976, shortly before Williams died. The tractor is on display every year the second weekend in August at the steam power club's show in Sycamore, Ill. The "three-wheeler" which was far ahead of its time with "power shift" transmission, still runs perfectly.
According to reports, there is a farmer in Nebraska who owns a third, partially disassembled Dain. The farmer, who wants to remain anonymous and who doesn't exhibit the tractor, has told tractor enthusiasts who have approached him that he intends to restore the tractor himself someday. A fourth Dain is reportedly tied up somewhere in Iowa in estate proceedings and should be "freed up" sometime in the next several years.
Blaine Griggs, Nevada, Mo., told FARM SHOW that although the Dain tractor case is an interesting one, he doesn't consider it the rarest, or most interesting, of the old tractor sagas.
"Many more tractors were built of some model where only one or two may still exist. Other model were just plain unusual. One of the rarest and most interesting is the 1938 UDLX Minneapolis Moline "Comfortractor". This tractor was 30 years ahead of its time. It had an enclosed cab, a radio, heater fan, a 40 mph road gear, electric start, speedometer, sun visor, rear view mirror with a clock in it, spot light, tailight, cigarette lighter, glove box, windshield wipers, horn, gas gauge, chrome fron bumper, and much more. It was advertised as the tractor you use in the field all day and drive to town at night. There was a passenger seat so the missus could ride along, too. Unfortunately, the UDLX cost too much and didn't sell well. Just 150 were built and only a small number of complete full cab models exist. I guarantee you that if the John Deer Dain were parked beside the Minneapolis Molin UDLX today, the UDLX would steal the show. People can't believe a tractor that advanced was built in 1938," says Griggs.


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1984 - Volume #8, Issue #1