Gas Engine Magazine

Low Priced Fun THE WORTHINGTON TRACTOR

By Staff

The Worthington Register, R. D. 2, Box 44, Mertztown,
Pennsylvania 19539

Factory engineered and built in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania from
1920 and on into the 50’s, these mini-tractors can provide a
fairly low cost addition to any collection. Their initial purpose
was to serve as tugs of mowing equipment around golf courses,
replacing horses.

The rarest and probably the least practical are the early front
wheel drive Model ‘T’s offered through 1923. An example of
one of these is on display at the Boyerstown (PA) Museum of
Historic Vehicles, a donation from the Worthington family.

The ideal in our thinking would be a rear wheel drive model
‘T’. Over 900 were built from 1924 to 1930. Costs currently
range from $500 up to under $2000. The asking price of the one
pictured here is $ 1500. Their light weight of about 1000 pounds
means easy hauling to shows on a light duty trailer.

Being compact units, they can fit into the corner of most
garages and small sheds. Own an acre or more and they can still
serve towing that utility cart load of firewood in from the back
forty plus provide much of the same hand cranking fun of that
stationary engine.

A similar tractor built up with many Model ‘A’ Ford
parts was introduced in 1930, however only 425 were ever built. A
complete original would be a rare find. Many were stripped of their
useful Ford bits and the remains cast in hedgerows and elsewhere.
The author’s 1932 was one of these with little Ford left when
found.

Most common are the Model ‘B’s first offered in 1933.
Early units still weighed around 1000 pounds making for easy
trailer transport, however the last of 1082 manufactured were
getting heavier. Four Model ‘B’s recently found new
owners-the average price paid was less than $500 for a running
tractor in fairly nice shape.

The last tractor engineered under the direction of C. C.
Worthington, founder, was the MoPar powered ‘Chief’. Many
Dodge pickup truck components were used on these tractors
introduced in 1939. The last of 2405 was sold in 1949 and weighed
over a ton.

Many Chiefs served the military painted olive drab while others
painted bright yellow towed aircraft. Others towed mowers along
highways, a common sight today. These Model ‘C’s are
currently your ‘Best Buys’ with prices around a few hundred
dollars quite common. One recent ‘find’ was even free for
the taking.

Jacobson bought out the company after the death of the founder
in the mid 40’s. They engineered a number of different models
in the 50’s. Transition Worthington/Jacobson tractors shared
many components. We know of a number of these offered for less than
$1200.

The author’s Model ‘A’ is probably worth more for
the value of its Ford parts today than its value as a running
tractor but with increasing interest in old stuff, this is bound to
change. Give thought.

  • Published on Oct 1, 1989
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