3807 W. Washington Road, Pentwater, Michigan 49449
My story with this HAAS tractor starts in the fall of 1996. I was working on my storage building when a friend of mine from the West Michigan Old Engine Club (of which I am a member) stopped to tell me had a HAAS tractor. I made a trip to see it (about thirty miles). He was really busy that day, so I did not have a chance to talk to him. The next day he called to tell me that his son wanted the tractor.
In August 1997 at our club show, this same friend told me he had another HAAS tractor with some parts missing. I bought it, and on checking, besides parts missing the rear end was in very rough shape. Brass gears were broken and ring and pinion were very bad. I got this tractor all in parts or as a basket case. The motor was supposed to have been rebuilt. The shroud in front was all stripped out. The fins on the fan were all gone. Some parts were inside and some were outside.
In August 1997 I went to the Oakley, Michigan, Show with my Gibson tractors, and Dave Baas (president of the Gibson Club) was there passing out old 1993 GEM's. I found an ad: Wanted--Any information on parts, tractors, etc.--by Ed Spiess of Rock Island, Illinois. When I got home, I called Ed. After we talked, he sent all information he had. He invited me to come and see him in October 1997. I called and made arrangements to meet with him. At that time he had just purchased a HAAS tractor Model B without sheet metal. I asked him if he wanted me to bring sheet metal for him to copy. I needed one side panel and top or hood for mine. The shop making my sheet metal could not copy it exactly (the louvers were a little longer), so I had to make both side panels and the top or hood, which Ed Spiess brought to me in August 1998.
From August to March, I spent extra time cleaning with a wire brush and undercoating the parts. Every part was taken apart and cleaned.
In March a neighbor stopped and told me about a rear end for a tractor, but he did not know what kind. He took me to see the man who had it and when I saw it, it had all the parts complete for a HAAS tractor Model B. This man salvaged it from a scrap pile because he could not let it be junked. Needless to say, I now own it for what he paid for it twenty years before.
In April of 1998, I was at a local auction and another friend from the club had a HAAS tractor that had a motor front steering clutch transmission and drive complete up to rear end. So now I have all parts needed to complete my tractor.
I had my tractor all complete, but had to take it all apart to put it back together. The frame had to slide through the casting on the read end, the brass gears and axle had to be put back in. One side seemed to just fall in, but the other side I could not get in. My son came down one weekend and it went right in. From there on it was quite simple to get it all back together.
Upon trying to start it, we found the carburetor was full of dirt. The head spark plug hole was stripped, so we changed the head from the second motor. Finally, we got it running. We left it running for five hours. The next day, Saturday, we painted the tractor, all the inside metal and underside. The next day we put metal on and had to repaint everything. (Just about a gallon used.)
Now came the problem of decals. I called Ed Spiess of Illinois and we came up with what they should look like-- four inches high lined with black. Also, the letter 'B' was in a circle four inches high with one-quarter inch black around the outer edge.
Now, I have a tractor complete and what a beauty! This tractor took me thirteen months to finish. My son Byron, who lives just down the road at 3719 West Washington Road, helped me from first to the very end. I purchased new tires (7.50x16 and 4x12 fronts), so now it is complete.
The HAAS tractor was built by Ed Haas of Racine, Wisconsin. Haas, founder of Metal Parts Corporation, died in 1993 at the age of 91.
This tractor had two models, an 'A' and 'B.' Model A had three-speed transmission and the Model B had three-speed transmission plus a high/low which gave it six forward and two reverse. The motor was a 6-12 Haasmotor with about ten horsepower. There are only seven tractors left that we know of. I have some extra parts.
To me it was as if this tractor was meant to be, because of the way everything came together. I feel that if you really want something bad enough, always be on the watch and it will come.