In Search of GBT
1375 S.R. 294, Marion, Ohio 43302-9607
In today's standards, the year 1976 would not lead most tractor collectors on that 'Wild Goose Chase' after a prized restoration project. When it comes to antique farm machinery, some of us would like to find that-one of a kind-nobody else has ever heard of one, let alone seen or owned one- piece of equipment. How we wish that we or Grandpa would have just kept that 'old piece of junk,' even if everybody else has one, so that one day we would have that special part of the past.
Having that one-of-a-kind seems to make it even more special. As we read GEM and IMA and other books, we find names of companies from the past that sometimes don't even have pictures left of their products, only memories from those who may have built or owned them. So sad it seems that some of these machines, machines that in our minds are almost human, have vanished without a trace.
In search of GBT. In 1976 my uncle owned an outdoor power equipment company, Logan Cooper Sales and Service, Brownstown, Indiana, and in the summer of that year he became an authorized dealer for GBT Industries, Inc. 2517 Seiferth Road, P.O. Box 6235, Madison, Wisconsin. At this time the president and general manager was J. Pep Gnewuch. In January 1977, Cooper's received a model 2000 and 3000 tractor. The 2000 design was based on the Allis-Chalmers model G. The 2000 was powered by a rear-mounted Continental R800-46-27 brake horsepower, four-cylinder, water cooled engine. The transmission was equipped with six forward and one reverse gear. The model 3000 was of conventional design similar to other utility tractors of that horsepower rating. It was also equipped with a live PTO, live three-point hydraulic lift, and power steering. This tractor didn't have remote cylinder hookups, but that could have been easily adapted because the three-point system used a conventional hydraulic cylinder.
According to 1976 sales literature, the GBT 2000 listed for $4,600 and the GBT 3000 listed for $4,650. GBT literature also advertises a model 4000 and 4000/D, along with a 'full line of implements designed to complement each particular model.' Some of these implements were made by Special Products of Golden, Colorado.
GBT Industries Inc. at that time was also the exclusive United States importer for a line of small four-wheel drive tractors. According to GBT-Pasquali owner's manual, these tractors were built by Pasquali Machine Agricole of Calenzano (Florence) Italy. The information states that Pasquali was founded in the early 1950s and wholly owned by Dr. Lino Pasquali. This company also had plants in Spain. The line of tractors advertised consisted of four diesel powered units ranging from 19.9 to 34 horsepower. Powered by Lombardini four-cycle single cylinder, or Ruggerini four-cycle two-cylinder, air cooled engines, these tractors had manual transmission with nine forward and three reverse speeds, articulated steering, PTO and independent two and three-point hydraulic lift systems.
My uncle, who has since passed away, had told me, and his records indicate, that GBT was taken over by another company, United Tractor and Equipment Ltd. I have been able to locate Mr. Gnewuch at his home and have talked with his daughter and housekeeper, who assured me that he would write me or return my call, but he never has. According to his housekeeper, GBT was sold, possibly because of bankruptcy, to a company in Canada, which I assume is United Tractor and Equipment Ltd. I have two addresses for this company in 1978, one in Portage, Wisconsin, and one in Winnipeg, Manitoba. I also have the name of Craig L. Scott, who appears to be the representative for United Tractor in 1978. As of this date I have not been able to locate him. This is where my information ends.
I don't know if GBT is one of those lost companies, or if they are under a new name, or if in some other area of the USA or Canada there are a 'blue million' of them, but I sure would like to find out. I know there is at least one GBT 3000, serial number 082582, because I own it and I hope to have it running soon. I also know that in 1978 there was at least one GBT 2000, and it was bought back by the new company to have some rework done to it. Shucks, maybe those two are the only ones they made. No one I have talked to at shows in Ohio or Indiana have heard of GBT. If anyone has a GBT, or any information on them or the company, or United Tractor and Equipment Ltd., or any ideas about finding more information, Please write, or call collect. 419-985-3891.