The Rest of the Story

Restored Kaywood Three-Wheeler, Locdlly Made Tractors Stars of Michigan Show


| January/February 2003



Three-wheeled Kaywood

Doug Swift

photos by Doug Swift

Carl Van Wylen's three-wheeled Kaywood, possibly the only one made, made its debut after restoration at the Hartford Old Engine and Tractor Show.

At the 6th Annual Hartford Old Engine and Tractor Show in Hartford, Mich., on Labor Day weekend 2002, we had the largest display of locally made tractors of any show I've seen.

What a sight to see - Friday, Love, Tructor, Parrett and Kaywood, all sitting in a nice row. There were two Kaywoods on hand, one of them a three-wheeler owned by Carl Van Wylen of Sand Lake, Mich., and possibly the only one ever built (see Gas Engine Magazine, August 2002). The other was a four-wheel Kaywood owned by Wayne Bolton of Niles, Mich. There were also two Parrett tractors on display, a four-cylinder and a six-cylinder.

One rewarding part of researching these locally made tractors is sharing information with people who never knew their family was in the tractor business. The late Ferdinand 'Ferd' Thar was half owner of Kaywood, and also ran large farms in Michigan and Florida. I've located two of his daughters, three of his grandsons and one granddaughter, some of whom knew nothing about Ferd's activities making Kaywoods until I told them.

Also on display was the 1936 Love Tructor owned by Frank Prillwitz, Eau Claire, Mich. Ron Goller, from Defiance, Ohio, brought an 'improved' Love tractor built by David Friday of Hartford, Mich. Ron's tractor has a 6-inch by 10-inch cast aluminum tag on the left side of the hood proudly proclaiming its 'improved' status.