President Tennessee Valley Pioneer Power Assn., P.O. Box 125, Eagleville, Tennessee 37060
This story actually started in 1985 when I bought my first tractor to restore. It was a 1948 A John Deere. I was raised on John Deeres and Molines on a small farm in Tennessee. We farmed with two A's and a G John Deere. Also we had an R and U Moline. That U Moline was a real powerhouse. As a teenager I remember plowing in those 10 acre fields of middle Tennessee. The old U would pull a three disk Athens plow with ease. I would slow up to make a corner and when I shoved the throttle back down, it would always spin the wheels. What a thrill for a farmboy!!
Well, back to the story of the KTA. I have about 30 tractors in my collection but I am always looking for something different. In 1989 a veterinarian friend of mine told me of an old tractor she had seen on a farm call she had made. The only thing she remembered was it said MM on the rear end and had spoke wheels. Not being an authority on MM's I didn't know what she had seen but I knew I had to go look. The next time I was in the area I found the old tractor down behind the man's barn grown up in briar bushes. The serial number plate revealed it to be a MTA Twin City. The tractor had been sitting uncovered for years but it was different from anything I had in my collection. It was mostly complete but was missing some vital parts. The magneto gear and water pump were all missing! However, the carburetor and manifold appeared to be in good condition. How a manifold can sit uncovered for years and not freeze and burst, I don't know except for the fact it was filled with rust, hickory nuts, hackberry seeds, and other assorted goodies. The rear rims were cut downs but they were in good shape. The tractor had a few flakes of prairie gold paint on it. (The old ones always get the new paint color!!)
The two best things about the MTA was its low serial number of 525433 (13th one made) and its price, free for the taking.
Now for the KTA. I have found that when restoring a tractor the best thing to have on hand is another parts tractor! It was time for Wesley Slaughbaugh's annual Thanksgiving weekend sale and he had a KTA advertised which has the same engine and transmission as a MTA. I thought if I could buy the KTA I would have the parts I needed to restore the MTA.
The KTA was also missing a few parts but the engine was free. I purchased the tractor and headed back to Tennessee. The next morning the KTA started looking better to me. I always did hate to part one out! The engine had a high compression head and with a little oil to lubricate the cylinders, it had good compression on all four. Within a week, I had it running and run it did. It didn't look like much with four rotten tires and no hood, but what an engine it had. It stayed in the shop all winter as I did the body work and made the hood.
Many thanks to Roger Mohr and Dan Shima who helped me with the paint and decal suppliers. The MM Collectors Club is truly made up of nice people. The MTA is now restored also. What a nice pair to own. They will be shown for the first time this year at the Tennessee Valley Pioneer Power Association's Show in Eagleville, Tennessee.
The picture taken in the soybean field shows the cultivating capability of the KTA with its high arch front axle. The soybeans are knee high. The original KT was built to compete with the GP John Deere as a three row tractor. However the KT and later improved KTA had far more power than the GP John Deere. The three row design was really never accepted by the farmers and both companies eventually dropped the high arch axle design.