The Tractor That Almost Wasn't

| September/October 1989

  • Staude Golfe Course tractor
    Beautiful fall foliage surrounds this unusual Staude Golfe Course tractor owned by Glenn Kirton of Bracebridge, Ontario.
  • Glenn Kirton in the 1927 Staude
    Glenn Kirton in the 1927 Staude.
  • A factory scene shows Staude tractors being assembled
    A factory scene from 1920 shows Staude tractors being assembled.
    Ian Cocker

  • Staude Golfe Course tractor
  • Glenn Kirton in the 1927 Staude
  • A factory scene shows Staude tractors being assembled

Glenn Kirton RR #2, 6 Cormack Crescent Bracebridge, Ontario, Canada PoB 1C0

The Staude Golf Course tractor is a unique machine that made use of a Ford Model T chassis and running gear. The remainder was parts produced by the E. G. Staude Manufacturing Company of St. Paul, Minnesota, in the early 1920's.

In 1982, Glenn Kirton of Brace-bridge, Ontario, Canada was fortunate to have acquired one of these tractors. It had been used for many years at a golf course here in Muskoka at Bala and was then purchased by Marvin Orchard who used it around his Muskoka cottage for several years before retiring it to a shed. The 1927 tractor is in excellent original condition except for repainting and minor mechanical maintenance repairs. Glenn offers the following detailed description indicating the modifications that Staude made using the Model T chassis.

The chassis was shortened from approximately 100' to an 84' wheel-base. Flat faced steel front wheels were used in place of rubber tires. A heavy duty radiator was fitted to the Model T radiator shell. The water pump was by Hastings Manufacturing Company of Michigan (Pat. 8-10-23) and installed in the top water outlet of the cylinder head. (Usually the accessory water pumps for T's were installed in the lower engine block.) There was no starter or generator. (The road Model T's did have these but Staude found they were unnecessary for the tractors.) An implement type seat was used mounted on a spring steel support. There was a wooden tool box under the seat. The gas tank was mounted above the steering wheel and had the STAUDE name painted on each end. The rear spring assembly was removed and a roller type gear fitted to the rear axle to run on a large gear bolted-in spiked tractor type steel wheels. Axle was 3,000 lb. capacity and there were wooden side steps on each side of the frame. There was a one yard gravity and ballast dump box at the back and an adjustable hitch to pull gang mowers.

Research on the inventor and the machine has been ongoing over the past year and thanks goes to the St. Paul Historical Society for all their help.

From the material collected it has been determined that there were only about 4,000 of these golf course tractors produced between the years of 1922 and 1927 but no figures are available on how many were shipped to Canada. The Kirton family knows of no others in running condition in Canada. Perhaps this article will help establish if there are others, either in the United States or Canada. Any enquiries would be most welcome. These machines could easily be mistaken for the OTACO Autotrac which was produced here in Canada in Orillia, Ontario. There were many of these around from the 1920's up until post-World War II.


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