The Lehr Big Boy

| April/May 1986

  • Lehr Big Boy

  • Lehr Big Boy

2000 Oakton Rd., Savanna, IL 61074

The tractor pictured is a Lehr Big Boy, owned by Lyle R. Teopfer, Thomson, Illinois 61285. It is one of a somewhat rare breed of tractors that appeared on the market after World War II.

According to information we have gathered, including a letter written in 1978 by an official of Dunham Lehr, Inc., the original design and engineering was brought into existence by the Indiana Farm Bureau Coop under the 'Custom' name tag. However, World War II stopped all plans for production. Later, Lehr acquired the plans, etc. and marketed roughly 300 units in 1948 and 1949 under the Lehr's Big Boy name. After Lehr abandoned the project, it was picked up by someone (unknown to us) who manufactured approximately 200 units and marketed them by selling the product to Montgomery Ward. The Lehr name was dropped and these units were sold under Ward's name. Color changed from bright red to blue.

In an ad, run January 22, 1949, Lehr claims a big Chrysler engine, 2 ton Dodge truck axle, five speeds forwardone reverse & 30 MPH road speed (this was a five speed truck transmission with a reduction box between trans. &. rear axle), hydraulic brakes, row crop or wide front end. Fenders, starter and lights were standard equipment, extra equipment was availableP.T.O., etc. I would assume the fluid drive would have been extra equipment as Lehr claimed to be the first fluid drive tractor marketed.

Thirty-four HP was claimed, in the 1949 advertisement. This tractor registered 35 HP on a belt driven dynomometer in 1983, without any fine tuning.