Utilitor Update

Utilitor Garden Tractor

'After' photos of Jay Johnson's Utilitor garden tractor.

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Our July issue carried an article on the Midwest Utilitor manufactured by the Midwest Engine Company of Indiana-polis. Since that time, we have had numerous replies, which are excerpted here.

Jay Johnson of 8129 Flatrock Road, Stokesdale, NC 27357 owns a Utilitor, but his was manufactured in Dayton, Ohio. 'It has a single cylinder water cooled Novo engine; cooling is by a radiator and fan. It  has three forward speeds and has levers to make it turn on each handle.

'In the middle of the handles, it has a 110 pound lead weight-this counterbalances the engine which sits in front of the two drive wheels.'

Johnson purchased his tractor at a Dayton auction in 1985 and restored it in 1987. He sent before and after photos, and the 'after' ones appear on this page.

William D. Costie of Box 130, R.D. 5 Robinson Road, Auburn, NY 13021 sent us a Utilitor catalog, which seems to be about 1926 vintage, and this also gives the firm ('The Utilitor Co.') address as Dayton, Ohio.

Clare A. Kerns of RR No. 1, Box 139P, Shippensburg, PA 17257 owns Utilitor #5369, as seen in the picture he sent. He has several Utilitor books, old letters and brochures. The book he has entitled Utilitor-General Purpose Tractors, indicates that the company moved from Indianapolis to Dayton and produced a four cylinder tractor in addition to the smaller ones.

Alton W. Bassett of 4541 55th Street, San Diego, CA 92115 wrote to say that he is in the process of restoring Utilitor #6195. He found a casting in the side of the block that reads 2-10-21 and needs any information or literature available that might help him. His is a model NH. His wheels bear the inscription: Utilitor-Midwest Engine Company, Indianapolis, Indiana.

Roger Haff of 4939 North Ridge Road, Brownhelm Township, OH 44001 wrote about his Utilitor, which has stamped on the rear casting: The Utilitor Co., Dayton, Miamisburg USA. It has a Wisconsin air cooled engine mounted on the front; the clutch assembly is similar to the Centaur model G clutch and it has a 1927-29 Chevy front stock 3-speed transmission. It turns by hand control levers, disengaging the drive gear in the rear transmission box.

'The basic construction is similar to the Midwest Utilitor, but a little more modern. I was told by some old timers who used this unit it was made somewhere between 1927-1930. He too sent a picture and would be interested in additional information.

We're pleased that our Midwest article drew such a response and hope that Midwest collectors will be able to help one another.