Sixty-Year-Old Dream Finally Comes True

By Staff
1 / 3
2 / 3
Hood open, looking straight down.
3 / 3

D.D.S. Box 146, 51 West Center Heber City, Utah 84032

Back in about the year 1933, I was a 13 year old boy living with
my family on a farm in Mapleton, Utah. I had a keen interest in all
sorts of mechanical things, and one day I located a model 82 Maytag
engine that was for sale for $5.00. You have to remember that $5.00
in those days was a lot of money, about the equivalent of a
day’s wage for a grown man with a fairly good job. I really
wanted that engine! I had dreams and visions in my mind of building
my own Maytag powered car.  

There just was not enough money in the Whiting budget to buy the
engine. My father, however, was a considerate man, and even though
he needed me to help on our farm he let me go and get a job in a
local orchard picking pie cherries. Pie cherries are the tiny tart
ones. The pay was one cent per pound. Believe me, picking one
hundred pounds of pie cherries in a day was extremely’ hard
work. However, the thought of acquiring that little Maytag and
building a car drove me on until I had earned enough money to buy
the engine.

Building the car was the next project. At age thirteen, my
mechanical abilities were not yet fully developed. The tools
available were limited. Power transmission parts needed to slow the
engine speed down became somewhat of a problem. At that time
V-belts and pulleys were in early stages of development and were
almost unheard of. They were not readily available, especially as
used ones, and so I used homemade flat leather belts running on
homemade wood pulleys. For the wheels I used four wheels off of a
coaster wagon. I used 2×2 lumber for a frame, fastened together
with bolts and nails. It was not completely rigid, so there was
great difficulty in keeping the belts on. Shall we say, the little
car was not exactly a 100% success.

Life went on anyway, and I finished high school, and college,
and then served as an officer in the Navy over in the Pacific
during World War Two. After the war my wife, Florine, and I
purchased a home in Heber City, Utah. I set up a dental practice,
raised a family, and became involved in community affairs.

Now that I am semi-retired I have more time to pursue my hobby
of collecting and restoring old engines, etc., and while I collect
all sorts of smaller type ‘collectibles’ my passion is
still Maytags. The number of Maytags in my collection is about
forty. Florine asks me, ‘Just how many Maytags do you need in
your collection?’ The answer is always the same, ‘Just one

Sixty years after my first attempt to build a Maytag-powered
car, I still had the dream of building a Maytag-powered vehicle. I
chose to build a little tractor. I used the excuse that I was
building it for my grandson, Chase Harrison, but I have to admit
that it was really to satisfy that sixty-year-old dream. This time
I was much more prepared. I have now developed my mechanical
skills, and I have a well equipped workshop. Over the years I have
collected numerous small power transmission parts.

For the little tractor, an old riding lawn mower provided front
axles, differential, and transmission. For safety’s sake I
built it with a ‘dead man’ type clutch. The clutch must be
depressed to make the tractor go. When the pressure is released the
tractor stops. Of course it is powered by a twin cylinder Maytag

It is difficult to tell who is most pleased with this newly
built little tractor, me or my grandson Chase. We are both enjoying
it a lot.

If you are planning on attending the National Meet of the Early
Day Gas Engine and Tractor Association scheduled to be held in Salt
Lake City next September, you will probably have a chance to see my
little sixty-year-old Maytag dream tractor.

Gas Engine Magazine
Gas Engine Magazine
Preserving the History of Internal Combustion Engines