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Pond?


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#1 glgrumpy OFFLINE  

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Posted May 13, 2015 - 01:35 PM

Saw at Portland today. Bring lots of funds. Love that bellhousing, what clutch in there?

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#2 KennyP OFFLINE  

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Posted May 13, 2015 - 02:30 PM

Cool old tractor!



#3 MH81 ONLINE  

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Posted May 13, 2015 - 03:22 PM

You should've bought it GL... Unless you're still getting out... :poke:

Just kidding, thanks for a nice couple pics of a great piece of old iron.

#4 Gtractor ONLINE  

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Posted May 13, 2015 - 06:26 PM

I see the seller is going to finish the restore-job and include three more in the sale.......



#5 David Brown OFFLINE  

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Posted May 13, 2015 - 07:36 PM

Wow, a lever steer Pond.  The price does seem high but there just wasn't a whole lot of those made.  My Pond has an Allis Chalmers clutch (at least that's what I've always been told, I've never seen it) but my bell housing is way bigger than that one.  That's a very nice specimen and it will probably sell I would think.  Those lever steers are very highly sought after.  I've heard of people turning down $10,000 for one.  True or not I couldn't tell you but they do bring green.


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#6 JakeKuhn OFFLINE  

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Posted May 13, 2015 - 08:26 PM

Very cool, and I would say the price is within reason, there is a guy doing a registry of the pond tractors and I believe so far he has found less than 20 lever steers.



#7 glgrumpy OFFLINE  

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Posted May 13, 2015 - 08:37 PM

Fella said this is one of Hand Built models before Pond decided to do production?? He also stated the Gov Pat Office wouldn't let him use Pond name and changed to Wheelhorse then?  Didn't sound right, but I don't know, for sure. Seller says is a Centrifical clutch, not sure what that is or how it works. Sure seems small diameter to fit in that housing.



#8 jabelman OFFLINE  

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Posted May 13, 2015 - 08:48 PM

Yeah that's a neat one. I see 2 patios on the trailer too

#9 David Brown OFFLINE  

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Posted May 14, 2015 - 04:33 AM

Fella said this is one of Hand Built models before Pond decided to do production?? He also stated the Gov Pat Office wouldn't let him use Pond name and changed to Wheelhorse then?  Didn't sound right, but I don't know, for sure. Seller says is a Centrifical clutch, not sure what that is or how it works. Sure seems small diameter to fit in that housing.

Yes, the Pond tractors were hand built in a garage in Indiana (the garage is still standing as far as I know).  Mine, being a 54, is one of the last ones built to use the Pond name and it too is a hand built tractor.  Shortly after mine was built they changed the name to Wheelhorse and the model was RS83 or Ride Away Senior because they had developed the RJ or Ride Away Junior for 1955 and went into production (the RS83 was still hand made I think)... in a nut shell.  I think it was a 10 year period in which they made the Pond up to 1956 with the RS.  In that time I believe there were 600 tractors made from lever steer up to the last 1956 RS83.  I'll have to look in my book to nail down these dates.


Edited by David Brown, May 14, 2015 - 04:35 AM.

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#10 David Brown OFFLINE  

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Posted May 14, 2015 - 06:40 AM

I did a little reading here and, from what I can piece together.  From 1948 - 1956 there were approximately 600 of the RS83 or "Pond" tractors were made.  From late 46 though 47, only 50 lever steers were made.  The earlier ones had the frame like the one in your picture.  The later ones had a straight frame.  50 is the total number of lever steers made.  I believe the clutch is what's know as a Rockford clutch.

 

The Wheel Horse name became official in 1956, the year production ended for the RS83. They did play around with the Wheel Horse name as early as 1947 because of a family rift.    Harold took the Pond name for his company that we all know as Speedex so Elmer and Cecil labeled their tractors as Wheel Horse even though they are Pond tractors.  It's very confusing.  Anyway, the Wheel Horse name was something they chose simply because it had wheels and replaced the horse.  Cecil (Elmer's son) did some research and found that the strongest horse, placed closest to the wheel of the stage coach was called the wheel horse so that's how the name came to be.

 

My 54 is officially a Pond tractor BUT, when dad purchased it in 1954 it did come with the green Wheel Horse decals.  We were told that the company was trying to get people used to the new name, a name that would not be official for two more years.  Things just didn't happen as fast back then.

 

My information here is all from the book Straight from the Horses Mouth by Mike Martino Jr.  I recommend it to any tractor buff, whether you are a fan of Wheel Horse or not.  Like them or hate them, they offered a lot of tractor for the money and Cecil had some great innovations in the tractor industry.

 

In a nut shell, Harold and Elmer (brothers) worked for Shaw.  They broke away and Harold started building Speedex with Elmers help.  Elmer in turn broke away and started building his tractors, now known as Wheel Horse.

 

Fun Fact: Jacobsen tried on many occasions to buy the Wheel Horse operation but never succeeded.

 

OK, enough learnin for today.  Gotta pay the bills!


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