The Kaywood Tractor

A Three-Wheeled Kaywood had been hinted at in the Past, but Proof was always Elusive Finally/ Evidence that at Least One Three-Wheeled Kaywood Tractor was Made

| August/September 2002

For some time now I have been researching tractors made in southwestern Michigan, resulting in several stories published in Gas Engine Magazine (Love, September 2000; Friday Tractor, October 2000; Parrett, October 2000 and August 2001; Kaywood, October 2000; and Krohne, May 2002).

I mentioned the Kaywood tractor in some of my articles, for there have been indications a Kaywood tractor had been made at some point in the 1930s, but in fact I could find no hard information on it. I checked all the libraries in the surrounding towns for any reference to the company, but with no success. One four-wheeled Kaywood is known, and it sold at auction some five or six years ago, but until recently that tractor has been the only proof of Kaywood tractor manufacturing. As luck would have it Gas Engine Magazine reader Carl Van Wylen read my articles in GEM on the Kaywood and Parrett tractors, and he contacted me to tell me about a tractor he has he thought was a Parrett.

Bought as a Silver King

Carl, who lives 150 miles north of me, has two boys in high school who help him restore tractors at their farm. Carl told me the tractor he had was sold to him 20 years ago as a Silver King. He sent me some photographs of the tractor, and after looking at the photos I contacted him and asked him to send me some more, including photos of the front end, transmission and dash so I could better identify the tractor.

In February 2002 he contacted me again, and told me that as he was cleaning up the tractor to paint it he found the Kaywood name stamped in three places on the castings; on the two-speed adapter on the transmission, on the clutch pedal and on the brake pedal casting. He invited me to come see the tractor sometime.

Again, the similarity to Parrett tractors from Parrett Tractors of Benton Harbor, Mich., is clear. The men responsible for the Kaywood had previously worked with Dent Parrett at Ross Carrier.

My wife and I then went to the Benton Harbor, Mich., public library to do some research. The reference librarian had several scrapbooks of newspaper clippings from the Benton Harbor area dating from the late 1920s to the mid-1940s, and after several hours we found what we were looking for, a newspaper article dated April 7, 1936 that told all about the Kaywood tractor.