600 Pleasant Valley Rd., Milford, MI 48042
This epic started about 20 years ago. When taking a Sunday drive
a few miles from home, I saw an odd-looking tractor resting beside
a barn door. Like all good iron collectors this thing sparked my
interest, so for the next few years I occasionally drove by the
farm and observed that the tractor was loved because it
occasionally changed position around the farm yard.
Finally, it became stationary alongside a fence row, and rested
there for a few years. This lack of activity was a sure sign of
rejection, so I worked up my courage one afternoon and confronted
the farmer. My suspicions were confirmed; it was unloved and, yes,
he would part with it for what he felt was the fair value for
Any sane iron collector would dicker at this point, but the
price stunned me so that I was struck silent for a bit and then
slowly fumbled for my wallet. The former owner then rummaged around
in a shed and came up with a governor and a 'v' pulley. I
was told that the tractor wasn't much at plowing but it sure
did a good job at filling a silo.
The tractor had been retired because of a continual problem
keeping the drive pulley on the governor shaft.
Finally, we ambled over to the tractor, axle deep in whatever
sheep do when they aren't eating. All the ignition wires were
eaten by these 'woolly critters'. At this point he told me
it was a Co-op, and was developed with a high speed road gear so a
fellow would not need a truck to haul grain to the elevator.
When we got it home all the wires were replaced along with
points, plugs, etc. Our bench grinder provided a flat on the
hardened governor shaft. This flat kept the pulley from loosening
on the shaft. Come to think of it, we have not had to tighten the
pulley in since.
Last summer, my then 15 year-old son sanded it to its original
red color; in fact, it is so beautiful, that I am no longer allowed
to use it in the woods!
The following statistical information is thanks to my son
Scott's diligent digging:
The Duplex Machinery Corporation in 1936 came out with three
models. The no. 1 was a three-wheeled outfit with pneumatic tires
and an eight-foot turning radius. The tractor used a four cylinder
Waukesha engine and was capable of speeds ranging from 1.4 to 24
mph. The no. 2 was a typical four-wheeled machine weighing
approximately 4,075 pounds. This tractor used a six-cylinder
Chrysler engine and a Clark transmission. The tractor was estimated
to have a high speed of 35 mph. The no. 3 was almost identical to
the no. 2, except it used a slightly larger Chrysler engine.
The CO-OP tractor went through three owners, the first being the
Duplex Machinery Corporation (1936-1938) and then the COOPERATIVE
Co. in 1939, and from 1939 through 1940 the Arturdale Corporation
manufactured the CO-OP for a year until they were forced to
discontinue the tractor because of the war effort.
P. S.: Can anyone help me with the (large size) spoked flywheel
for my 1923 John Deere D/Waterloo-and that's another story!