The Twin City Truck


| July/August 1988



1949 Farmall M

A first restoration project, a 1949 Farmall M purchased from the family of the original owner by Gerald E. Barrett, 6080 Jeddo Rd., Jeddo, MI 48032.

Route 1 Sedgwick, Kansas, 67135

While there is not very much information available about the trucks built and sold by the Minneapolis Steel and Machinery Company, at Minneapolis, Minnesota, it is known that three sizes of trucks, the two ton, two and one half ton, and three and one half ton, were manufactured at the Twin City factory in the late 1900's and through the middle 1920's.

The original Twin City truck book that we have gives specifications and illustrations of the various engines, clutches, transmissions, differentials, etc. that were available. The two ton model used a Buda I.T.U. four cylinder, 4'x5?' engine. The two larger trucks came with the Twin City sixteen valve 12-20 tractor, 4?'x6'. Optional equipment included hard rubber or pneumatic tires; enclosed or open C type cab; electric, carbide, or kerosene lights; and various wheel dimensions.

The book also indicates that the few trucks that were built were more or less custom built as ordered by dealers. Publication No. 5, Vol. 14 of the Twin City Radiogram pictures the City of Duluth, Minnesota taking delivery of four of the two ton trucks. All four had dump beds, enclosed wooden cabs, pneumatic tires, and electric lights. These new units were driven from Minneapolis to Duluth, about 175 miles, in 20 degree below weather. These four new additions increased the Duluth Twin City fleet to sixteen.

The Twin City two ton truck shown in the picture has quite a history. This old truck was sitting in a swamp near Lemmon, South Dakota, when Andy Michaels bought it in 1969. Andy is widely known and a well respected collector from Plenty-wood, Montana. His intentions were to restore the truck but some health problems slowed things down a bit. Harold Ottaway of Wichita, Kansas, told me about the truck about five years- ago. Knowing that I had a special interest for anything pertaining to Twin City or Minneapolis, Harold encouraged me to contact Andy about the truck's availability. I was interested but northeastern Montana is a long way from southern Kansas! If I were to purchase the truck, would I ever get it home? I more or less tried to forget about it but couldn't. Rather like a sore that wouldn't heal, it just kept festering! On one of their annual trips to the Divide County Show at Crosby, North Dakota, Harold, Frank Heyman of Burns, Kansas, and John Hall of Cape Girardeau, Missouri, went out to Andy's and took several pictures of the Twin. When they showed the pictures to me, that was it! I knew that I wanted to try to deal for the truck. Finally in September 1985, Andy and I made a trade. He was coming to Kansas that next winter to pick up some tractor parts and agreed to deliver the truck to my farm.

Having seen the truck only from pictures, I didn't know quite what to expect. When Andy drove in the yard, I was pleasantly surprised. The old truck was more than I had expected and what's more it was in MY yard!