The Lehr Big Boy

By Staff
article image

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

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.

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