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Perfectly Restored Little Giant B
If you've never heard of Little Giant tractors, you're probably not alone. They were produced around the time of World War I in Mankato, Minn.
Now, 73 years after the last Little Giant rolled off the assembly line, one has been restored to mint condition.
"It's the only fully restored Little Giant as far as we know," Dennis Dotson of the Dotson Co. told FARM SHOW. "There are only four or five others in existence in the world, including one we've heard about in New Zealand."
Five hundred Little Giant B's, along with their bigger brothers the A's, were manufactured between 1914 and 1923 at which time the line was discontinued.
Dotson's Little Giant B weighs 5,200 lbs. and has a 22 hp engine. It originally was sold for $2,200 in January 1919 to N.N. Dinnen & Co. Ltd., Winnipeg, Manitoba. Little is known of the tractor until the early 1960's when it surfaced on a farm in Fessenden, N. Dak.
Dotson bought the tractor at an auction in 1987 and set out to find experts to restore it. The project was just recently completed.
"The tractor was really advanced in some respects, like enclosed gearing, spring-cushioned drawbar, and coil spring suspension front and rear," says Frank DePuydt who, along with brothers Mark, Tom and Kevin, did the mechanical work. "But there were oddities, too. For example, the front of the tractor is very ębusy'. The governor, a flyball type driven by a sideshaft, is there and the magneto is on the opposite front corner. The pump is mounted down low at the front, as is the drive for the cast aluminum fan. The belt pulley is located on front too."
The biggest problem with the 4-cyl. engine was that a wrist pin keeper fell out of the number three cylinder, wearing a deep groove in the cylinder, he continued. The men fixed this and several other problems and eventually got the old engine purring again.
Al Anderson, an Eagle Lake, Minn., antique tractor enthusiast, did the body work. The job required fabricating new fenders and decals, plus new Y-shaped cleats for the wheels.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Dennis Dotson, Dotson Co. Inc., 200 West Rock St., P.O. Box 1270, Mankato, Minn. 56001 (ph 507 345-5018; fax 1270).

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1997 - Volume #21, Issue #2