A Tale of Two Tigers


| April/May 1992



A view of one of the Tigers 'Before.'

A view of one of the Tigers 'Before.'

11 Harbor Heights Dr. Centerport, New York, 11721.

In September 1989, we wrote to Reflections regarding information on our two Tiger tractors. Little did we know where we would be led. We had an excellent response to our inquiry and would like to thank everyone who wrote.

We have a 1955 Model 883 and a 1956 Model 883. This is as close as we could come to a year, taking that information off the parts manual for the 1955. The serial on the other tractor was bigger, so we figured it for a 1956. One of the reasons it was hard to pinpoint was the fact the Tiger Tractor Company kept no records as to model numbers or years. In production, if they ran out of a part, something else was substituted or even deleted, thus creating a whole new model.

My grandfather was the original owner of the 1955 tractor. He used it on a small farm he had in Huntington, Long Island. With it he bought a high-row cultivator, plow and snowplow. As a child I remember looking forward to seeing him and riding and using the tractor. It was used for various purposes, such as sawing wood and towing trailers, in addition to the garden chores. After my grandfather died, my uncle stored the tractor, and then gave it to my cousin. We got it back in 1988. The 1956 tractor came from a local school district, which got rid of it because it was too slow for cutting grass by today's standards, as it was only a single forward speed tractor.

My dad Phil and I began restoring the tractors in 1988. Both tractors were completely disassembled. One engine had to have a whole new electrical system, because the mice had eaten it away in years of storage. One transmission had a band relined. The sheet metal parts were in poor condition, due to extensive rust and rot holes, and many dents. Some parts required replacement and refabrication, such as the chainguard on one tractor.

We spent many hours sandblasting. Each wheel alone took several hours. The front ends were totally rebuilt with new bushings, and resleeved spindles. New tires were put on front and rear. Even the little chrome pieces were sent out for replating. Each piece was then repainted and then the tractors were reassembled, including new decals, which were a project in themselves.