Don Arndt's 1934 Twin City KTA

Pictured is Don Arndt's 1934 Twin City KTA.

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P.O. Box 63, Adrian, Missouri 64720

During the summer of 1975 the Optimist Club of Adrian was preparing for their annual tractor pull when a few of the members thought it might be interesting to see how these new tractors might pull compared to a few of the old antique tractors that were in the community.

So the word was passed around and an old slip style, walk-on sled was located and before the regular tractor pull started those old tractors pulled, and stole the whole show.

When the Adrian community was preparing for their Bicentennial celebration it was decided to include an antique machinery show and a tractor pull. Before this event a group of owners got together and a few rules were agreed upon. The main rules were that the tractors must be as close to stock as possible and manufactured before 1939.

As a result of these events, the idea of an antique tractor pull came to be accepted and more pulls were held in other communities.

The summer of 1977 saw several of these antique pulls. Most were held in conjunction with established community get-togethers or as part of established steam engine shows in both Missouri and Kansas.

The shows and pulls were a success and antique tractor pulling was going to become a major cause for people to get out and visit with old friends and argue the merits and disadvantages of farming over 40 years ago.

After the Ozark Steam Engine Show, it was obvious that if the shows were to continue, an association was needed to organize show dates and to protect the basic nature that most owners seemed to favor, that being these tractors were too old for competitive pulling unless they remained as close as practical to the way they were when they came from the factory.

On September 28, under a big old shade tree just east of Adrian, the Western Missouri Tractor and Machinery Association was formed. That day 28 members were signed up and the by-laws were established. Today, the club has over 50 members and 127 restored tractors. This does not include tractors that will be running in time for the big July 4th show and pull at Adrian.

The rules that have been formed and accepted for most of the pulls in the area are simple and are intended to keep the antique pull relaxed and friendly. Basically the rules demand that the tractors be kept as they were used in the fields. No hot or special fuels are allowed. No hot engines (cammed, stroked, ported, etc.) Cylinder boring is allowed to straighten wall if kept in moderation. No fast engines (a rpm gauge will be used if necessary). No altered or chopped draw bars. No add on weights. All drivers must be 15 years or older. Repulls are allowable.

If you want to see these good old boys get excited, just try to pull an antique tractor with a lot of weights hanging out on the front.

Most antique pulls have six classes. Zero to 3500lbs.,3501-4500, 4501-5500, 5501 and heavier are the classes for rubber tired tractors, and there are two classes for tractors on steel trucks.

The final standings for antique pulls are not determined by who pulls the sled the furtherest in each class. Standings are based on a percent of weight pulled, a lighter tractor doesn't have to go as far as a heavier tractor. A walk on sled is used with a weight of 1000 lbs., plus the riders (each 180 to 200 lbs.). As the tractors move down the track a rider steps on. When a tractor can go no further, the weight of his pull is added {sled plus number of riders times 200); this figure is divided by the weight of the tractor and this gives a percent of weight pulled, highest percent wins. There have been pulls where the tractors are pulling two times their own weight.

The Western Missouri Antique Tractor and Machinery Association represents many old manufactured lines, some are still building today; Allis Chalmers, Case, Massey Harris, John Deere and there are some tractors representing lines you have probably forgotten-Twin City, Hart-Parr, Graham Bradley, Fordson, Oliver, Hart Parr, Farmall, Wallis, Rumley, Sampson, Rock Island, Emerson-Braningham, McCormick-Deering.

The club is composed of tractors at least 40 years old, but many are much older. One of the oldest is a 1916 Wallis Cub Jr. and another is a 1919 Case 10-18. Both are on steel and in excellent condition. The Wallis has pulled up to 119 percent before jumping out of gear. If you want to see big tractors, have you seen a Rumley 3060? The club also has two antique 4-wheel drive tractors. Both are Massey-Harris GP's, one manufactured in 1928 and the other in 1936.

Some of the members are getting interested in antique crawler-type tractors. Already in possession are a 1936IH TA-40, a 1920s Best 60 and a Cletrac.

Along with the old tractor comes a natural interest in old machinery. Members are restoring a Reeves Clover huller, an IH baler, mule-powered, an Oliver rachet-lift plow, a John Deere 'Liberator' baler and other old time implements. Two members have a John Deere Model 'G' that their fathers purchased brand new in 1937 for $1125.00. That included the new 3-bottom plow. The boys even came up with the original bill of sale.

The association is now trying to interest owners of old gas engines and other old farm related items to come and join the group. For more information on the WMAT & MA contact Don Arndt, President, phone 816-297-2048, Adrian or Calvin Feilds, Secretary, Archie, Missouri 64725.

All of the pulls held in conjunction with the WMAT & MA are for fun. There is no entry fee or cash pay back.