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NO ONE KNOWS How This General Got To California

| July/August 1998

  • General Tractor

  • Paper belt pulley

  • General Tractor
  • Paper belt pulley

9345 Lemon Avenue La Mesa, California 91941

I acquired my General from Bill May. Bill found it on a ranch east of San Diego, California. It was in bad shape. The engine was frozen, one wheel fell off while loading it on a trailer. Nobody knows how the General got to San Diego. I don't think any were sold in California.

My General, serial #1FA090, is the 45th tractor made. Generals had only even serial numbers.

Cleveland Tractor Company (Cletrac) started making Generals late in 1939. They sold for $595 F.O.B. Cleveland. They were made in 1940-41, and in January 1942. Tooling and parts were sold to B. F. Avery & Sons, and moved to Louisville, Kentucky. In April 1942, Avery started making Generals. They were painted red.

Soon Avery made some improvements and the General became Avery (A). The General had a Hercules IXA engine, thermal-siphon cooling, magneto ignition, Borg Warner clutch, Clark transmission and rear axle, hand brakes, no spring under the seat. Rear tires were 9.5 x 24 with 5.50 x 16 front. It had 14 draw-bar HP18 belt HP and weight was 2200 lb.

Bill did a ring and valve job. I dropped the pan; checked the bearings and oil pump. I put in new front and rear oil seals, installed the new TSXU-828 Marvel-Schebler carburetor. I replaced the clutch, and for those slow moving parades, I installed a lifetime throw out bearing, relined the brake bands. I took apart the transmission, and rear axle to replace all oil seals. The right side axle housing was broken. John Ault of Waverly, Ohio, found an axle housing for me.


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