The Only Origin I Know

| June/July 1997

  • 4 Cylinder Postwar Crosley Tractor

  • Crosley Tractor
    Original Crosley tractor except I don't know exactly what the exhaust is supposed to look like. PTOs front, center and rear; water coooled oil pan. Radiator looks like Crosley car except has twice as many fins and tubes, plus four blade fan with shroud an
  • Gasoline prewar Crosley Tractor

  • 4 Cylinder Postwar Crosley Tractor

  • 4 Cylinder Postwar Crosley Tractor
  • Crosley Tractor
  • Gasoline prewar Crosley Tractor
  • 4 Cylinder Postwar Crosley Tractor

11306 Mill Dam Road Burlington, Iowa 52601

I bought this tractor from the estate of the man who worked on it at the Crosley Company around 1952. He later acquired it for home use. It has Crosley cast all over it.

When it was built, some parts were purchased from the same supplier that five other brands of tractors used, like front and rear axles. The only parts that are the same as the Crosley automobile are the starter, generator, ring gear and pinion, trans (gears only), clutch disc, shift knobs, steering wheel, thermostat housing, oil filter, tower shaft and gears. Crosley had a connection with a defunct tractor company in Texas.

The parts that are different than the car are as follows. The engine block is cast for a built-in governor. The oil pan has radiator coolant running through it. The crank and overhead cam are different. It has a four pound heavier flywheel and lower compression than the cars, which were 26.5 HP. The tractor has 21 HP according to the tag. The radiator looks like the car, except one-half again as many fins and tubes with a shroud around a four-blade reverse fan. The water pump is cast iron instead of aluminum. The intake exhaust manifold is one piece cast iron, real different looking, like the one on my forklift.

It has three power take-offs, one at the front of the engine, one at the rear of the transmission, and a common looking one cast at the rear of the rear axle. It has high-low range gears on front of the rear axle. The taillight lens and bezel hinges up over the top and snaps in place, exposing the light for a rear back up or work light.

I'm not sure what the original muffler looked like because it was rusted 'gone.'

The tractor is red with yellow wheels and pinstripe. The Crosley industrial type engine idles at 90 rpm pulling the tractor less than one mile per hour in the lowest of six speeds forward and two reverse.

I was told the cost to produce was more than the already established Far-mall Cub was selling for, and even though the Crosley had almost twice the horse power, it failed to compete in the price and profit race. Just as Crosley was getting out of the automotive business, anyway.

There were two other attempts at Crosley garden tractors that the war displaced. I have one 4x4 one and a picture of the other, I would like to find if anyone knows the whereabouts of it.

Crosley built a Farm-O-Road jeep type vehicle with eight pieces of lawn and garden equipment.

We have 50 different Crosleys in our world's largest Crosley collection from every year, color and body style, including nine prototypes, from a 1937 three looking first prototype Crosley car to Crosley motorcycles, snowmobile and 4x4 jeeps, etc. Also many different Crosley household appliances, from Crosley grandfather clocks to wind-up flashlights.

We show at twenty-six shows in six states almost every year, so watch for our display of something different, because we collect, restore and show anything real different. Approximately thirty items of this collection will be on display at one time at our closest local show right here at the Southeast Iowa Antique  Gas Engine, tractor, hobby, car show and flea market at West Burlington, Iowa. Exit 260, then south. First full weekend in June. See ads. Contact me at the above address, or phone (319) 753-1837.


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