The Beetle Tractor

| August/September 1998

  • Beetle Tractor

  • Beetle Tractor

145 Amapola Pacifica, California 94044

The phone rang. My friend Bill Cox, a retired paving contractor, asked if I wanted a steam roller and two engine-compressor units. As usual, my curiosity and enthusiasm went into high gear. I next found myself looking at a two-ton roller and two large engines that, try as I might, I just couldn't figure a use for. It is always difficult to pass up such goodies.

However, between these mechanical potentials, and overshadowed by them, was a small, nondescript crawler tractor. Now this was worth jumping over the fence for to take a look at! Little did I know that I had just jumped into three years of dedicated research and trouble.

After locating the owner (not Bill), and after much on-again, off-again negotiating, I bought the tractor with the stipulation that it would run. It did. Barely. I now owned a new piece of old iron.

The brass plaque on the dash announced it to be a 'Beetle Tractor,' a Pacific Western Gear Works Product of Western Gear Works, Seattle, serial number 154, Model W-2. It is powered by a four-cylinder Waukesha gas engine.

But where would I find information? Information on the engine was no problem, but the tractor itself was another story. Phone calls to Western Gear Works in Seattle proved to be a dead end, as were most other leads.