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#1 jtrojek OFFLINE  

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Posted August 15, 2014 - 04:01 PM

I went to visit a collector today and to talk about buying this and that from him as he has much he wants to sell, including these two little tractors.  While I don't know what these are, I'm hoping someone here does.  First, we can likely rule out home made.  This guy has two of them, and he saw another one years ago, so I doubt they are home made.  These two are almost identical.  The hood on the green one was home made at some point and it also has a couple of other bits that were obviously add-ons at some point as they don't match the tractor (rear rims were changed at some point too).  The grill on one he thinks is original (I think he mentioned he saw one other one with this same grill).  Lots of cast iron on them.  Very well made.  Automotive transmission and looks like a Ford model A rear end.  They both use a Novo engine.  The clutch system reminds me of a Gard'n Mast'r G (or I've been told the early Speedex tractors used something similar, but I don't know as I haven't seen one).  The one without the hood does have an implement lift with a cultivator.  Anyone know what they are?  He says he saw another one years ago.  I don't know what they are, but they may have to come home with me.  If no one here recognizes them, then I guess they could be some sort of prototype or short production run machine like the Gordon that I wrote about before.  Thoughts?  I took lots of pictures of both of them.

 
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#2 LilysDad ONLINE  

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Posted August 15, 2014 - 04:55 PM

I've never heard of a Novo engine.


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#3 DougT ONLINE  

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Posted August 15, 2014 - 05:11 PM

I've never heard of a Novo engine.

You've lived a sheltered life. Novo built water-cooled hit and miss engines down to these air cooleds which were the last of the line.

 

The yellow front wheels and axle look speedex as does the seat bracket. Speedex had a casting to hold the front and rear of the front axle though. Are the other front wheels the same with hub caps or are they cast with the dome out dish?


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#4 Delmar ONLINE  

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Posted August 15, 2014 - 05:28 PM

I don't know what they are, but they are not something to pass up....  just about any motor can be brought back to life with enough of the right effort. 

 

Pick them up for me if you don't want them and drop them off here in Missouri next time you are in town!  Lol!!!


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#5 jtrojek OFFLINE  

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Posted August 15, 2014 - 05:33 PM

The yellow front wheels and axle look speedex as does the seat bracket. Speedex had a casting to hold the front and rear of the front axle though. Are the other front wheels the same with hub caps or are they cast with the dome out dish?

I'll have to check.  I'll be going back again within the next couple of days.  

 

Check this out (moderators: if I can't post that picture, please remove it for me as I see that they say it's copyrighted - don't want to break the law):

 

tractorleftview.JPG

 

http://www.smokstak....tid=808#post808



#6 jtrojek OFFLINE  

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Posted August 15, 2014 - 05:37 PM

I don't know what they are, but they are not something to pass up....  just about any motor can be brought back to life with enough of the right effort. 

 

Pick them up for me if you don't want them and drop them off here in Missouri next time you are in town!  Lol!!!

Ha!  Well, I think we'll be picking them up.  They are really neatly made, whatever they are.  Don't tempt me to make a trip to Missouri as I would likely do it.  I picked up a Panzer in Rhode Island earlier this year, a couple of other tractors in Pennsylvania, and my wife and I just got back from delivering one of mine to Wisconsin.  I do love road trips....  We've put on a lot of tractor miles this year already.


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#7 bread320i OFFLINE  

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Posted August 15, 2014 - 07:03 PM

So you just delivered your chain steer to a local friend then..

 

These are neat tractors you found. I was going to say homebuilt, but I think you are right they are factory made.

The last picture sure does look similar.


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#8 diesel nut ONLINE  

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Posted August 15, 2014 - 08:39 PM

It looks a lot like a Model B Speedex.  speedextractorinformation.com has pictures of the different years of them and they're pretty close to the pictures you posted.  The biggest difference I can see is they were lever steer and had Briggs engines.  Hope this helps.     Stewart


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#9 glgrumpy ONLINE  

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Posted August 15, 2014 - 09:37 PM

Says right on it "Willie Deere"  the younger brother of John "Deere"  that didn't make it on his own! Stole the color idea of his brother tho.  Really that rear and dropboxes look alot like early Economy used. I don't know enough about the early Speedex to know, but they did use model A engines and fronts in some I believe??  I was lost on the NOVO engine name too, but not aware hit and miss fellas got that advanced and made air cooled?? I bet plenty modified of whatever it was originally.


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#10 jtrojek OFFLINE  

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Posted August 16, 2014 - 04:41 AM

I wrote the fellow who owns the tractor that I posted about previously.  Here's what he said:

 

"Congrats on finding the Wilmac tractors! They are a rare breed. I don’t have a lot of info, but here’s what I do have. The tractors were designed and built by two men with the names, Williams and MacPherson, thus the name “Wilmac”. One fellow was an engineer at Ford Motor Co. and had access to the Ford parts and designed the final drives for the rear axle. The other fellow was from the H.J. Heinze Co., but it is unclear as to what his contribution was other than maybe financial backing and design help. The Novo engine on my tractor dates from around 1947, so I figure these tractors were probably built for a few years in that time frame. It is my opinion that the design of these tractors was heavily influenced by the Speedex model B. There are some parts on my tractor that are very similar, if not identical to Speedex parts. I got my tractor from a fellow not far from me here in Ohio. I believe he got it from a fellow in Ontario who told me he got it from a place called North Ridge, between Essex and Cottam, Ontario."

 

I also just wrote the fellow who he referred to who owned it in Ontario.  I'm hoping to hear back from him soon.  Now I'm wondering if these are another hard to find Canadian made tractor.  Hopefully I'll be able to dig up some other information.  


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#11 diesel nut ONLINE  

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Posted August 16, 2014 - 02:09 PM

That's pretty cool.  Its nice to find info like that about odd tractors like that.  It makes sense that they might have copied the basic design of a preexisting tractor instead of trying to completely build one from scratch.  And if the guy that made them worked for Ford then he already knew about what Speedex was using for parts.


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#12 jtrojek OFFLINE  

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Posted August 19, 2014 - 09:29 AM

Aright, so we picked up these two tractors yesterday and they are safely at home with the rest of the herd.  I'll be doing a bunch of research into their story: who made them, where they were made, etc.  I also had a chance to look at the front wheels on the green-grey one, Doug, and in fact they are the same as on the other one except that they have hub caps on them that cover them up.  It looks like the hub caps have been on there a long, long time.  Maybe they're original?  We also noticed once we got them up on the trailer that there are slight differences between the two, particularly with how the steering is set up.  The JD green one is a little less refined, almost like they were trying to figure out the best way to build the steering.  It's not cobbled together or anything, but it's just set up a little differently.  For example, you can see the tie rod on the JD coloured one is mounted on top, whereas the other two tractors have it mounted on the bottom (and they are made slightly differently to facilitate that - they weren't just accidentally flipped).  Also, the draw link on the JD green one goes to a bracket on a spindle just like the other two tractors, but its bracket is a little longer than the other two and it has two holes, two positions, to attach the draw link to the front spindles (you can just see it in the one picture that shows the front axle).  Again, it was very much made that way intentionally.  There's no real reason for it as the front axle isn't adjustable.  It's almost as if they were seeing which position was best/adequate for the steering (whichever one gave it the sufficient leverage needed to make it steer easily).  The steering gear boxes are also mounted in slightly different places.  The grease fittings on the two front axles are also in different spots.  The frames are also slightly different lengths.  Lastly, we also took a closer look at the big, boxy, ugly hood on the JD green one.  Now we're not so sure that it was a later add on.  While it's in no way aesthetically pleasing, it is actually very well made and well thought out.  It was clearly not something just cobbled together.  All of the steel mesh is held on with flat steel on the inside around the edges, but it's all riveted together.  It just seems like someone put a whole lot of time into it and built it well.  It's definitely not something thrown together by an amateur.  Also, on the inside of the hood, there's a battery mount, and it doesn't have a crank start, just a pulley.  It looks like someone set it up for an electric start, although the parts for that are missing.  Not sure what's going on there.  Maybe someone who knew what they were doing started to set it up for electric start and built the hood at a later date, or maybe it's original.  Regardless, if we take the hood off to make it match the other one, we definitely won't get rid of it until we can find out if it is original or not.  Clearly, we need to do a whole lot more homework to try to figure out what they are all about.  


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#13 Mike Unwin OFFLINE  

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Posted August 20, 2014 - 08:25 AM

Fascinating story, do keep us posted and maybe some pictures of the hood too when you have time. Good luck Mike


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#14 jtrojek OFFLINE  

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Posted December 17, 2015 - 09:33 AM

I was just contacted by someone else who owns one of these, and he had tracked down an ad for them.  This answers some questions about these things.  Thought I'd share the ad.  It's from the Flesherton Advance, June 30, 1948.  Looks like I'm going to have to update my website to reflect the things that I've learned for the history of these machines.

 

Wilmac Ad - Flesherton Newspaper, 1948.JPG

 

 


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#15 Bruce Dorsi ONLINE  

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Posted December 17, 2015 - 09:44 AM

 It's from the Flesherton Advance, June 30, 1948.  

 

 

 

That is a very significant date for me !  ....That's the day I was born.  :D


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