The Story Of A Parts Tractor That Wasn’t

By Staff
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This MM Twin City KTA was restored last year by Buddy Woodson, P.O. Box 125, Eagleville, TN 37060.

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.

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