Build ’em Yourself
I make theses tractors out of parts I col-lect over time, and it
can some times take a couple of years to pull together everything I
need. On the two tractors here, for instance, I collected, among
other things; various Volkswagon parts, Plymouth wheels, skid
loader tires, lawn tractor wheels, fence posts, well pipe, 5-inch
gas pipe, 30-caliber machine gun box, a Briggs & Stratton
single-cylinder engine, a two-cylinder Wisconsin engine and an old
There are no plans or drawings for anything I build, but I do
spend a considerable amount of time sitting on a bucket trying to
figure everything out. The frame on the John Deere Model A is
4-inch channel iron, while the steering post is a piece of well
pipe. The steering gear itself is from a Volkswagon, and the gas
tank started life as a fire extinguisher. The homemade engine is
for looks, and a starter from a Dodge Omni hooks into the side of
the tractor and spins the hidden Briggs & Stratton. Modifying
the manifold of the Briggs engine made it sound like a popping
Johnny – that’s when you can really turn heads.
Al’s mini John Deere Model is a classic examples of the
fabricator’s art, skillfully crafted from salvaged automotive,
lawn tractor and industrial parts.
Allis-Chalmers WC is a classic examples of the fabricator’s
art, skillfully crafted from salvaged automotive, lawn tractor and
The 1937 Allis-Chalmers WC uses an even-fire two-cylinder
Wisconsin electric-start engine for power, a Cub Cadet hydrostatic
drive and skid loader tires. It is a beautiful running machine that
drives well, and it uses many of the same parts I pulled together
for the John Deere. I made the Allis in memory of my father and the
farm we worked on before going off to fight in World War II.
There are two seats on both machines, a feature we are well
known for as my wife, Betty, goes with me to the shows. It’s
nice to have a good partner.
I would like to thank the people from Deere Valley Two-Cylinder
Club of Bettendorf, Iowa, where these pictures were taken last
summer. The people were so friendly and we felt well accepted. We
had a great time.
Contact engine enthusiasts Al and Betty McGee at: 547 31st
Ave., East Moline, IL 61244.
Keeping the Doodlebug Project Alive
Farmers from the 30s to the 50s built makeshift tractors called doodlebugs from available parts and pieces found on the farm.
Custom Built Cub Cadet Buggy
Check out Forest Spaulding’s custom-built buggy pieced together using several parts from a cub cadet and various other tractors.
Maytag Tractor, 29 Years Later
The son of the builder of a Maytag tractor featured in a 1989 article gives us an update.