The HY8 was the first riding tractor produced by Shaw with a conventional type driveline. Namely an inline engine, clutch, transmission, drive shaft tube, rear differential, and drop box gear reductions. It was first produced for sale around 1939. It used a Wisconsin AH engine (8HP) and a Borg Warner T84 transmission. The last models used the AHH engine (9HP). These used a cut down Ford model A rear end and the frame was 26-1/2 inches wide. They also offered an HY5 model and a 2HY5 model. These were the same tractor with a Briggs model Z engine, or a Stover DVA-2 engine. I do not know if these two versions were actually manufactured except in prototypes as they were not advertised in any literature I have seen.
In 1940, the R7 model was introduced to replace the RD-series tractors. This was a narrowed down version of the HY8 and it used the Briggs ZZ engine (7HP). Front tire size was 4.00 X 15 and rear tire size was 6.00 X 22. The HY8 had 7.50 X 22 as a rear tire option.
The frame width of the R7 was 16-1/2 inches.
December 7, 1941. Virtually all tractor production is stopped. Shaw manufactures small parts for the military. A customer could not buy a tractor unless authorized by the government ration board, and Shaw could not build one unless authorized by the same board to use materials to assemble one. A few were allowed and built with what parts were on hand before the war started and modified as needed to use what material was available to build a tractor.
The war finally ends. Tractor production resumes, but material shortages plague all manufactures for a couple of years after the war ends. Shaw produces mostly Peppy-Pal walking tractors for the first two years after production resumes as they do not require much material to build. 19 R7 tractors are produced from left over parts between November 1947 and July 1948, and 5 HY8 tractors are produced between January 1948 and October 1948.
In January of 1948, the first R7A model tractor is produced to replace the R7. These use the same Briggs ZZP engine as the R7 and a new design clutch housing built by Shaw. The transmission is updated to a Borg Warner T-96..The frame is 20-1/4 inches wide. Shaw uses the Ford model A design differential with Shaw designed axle housings with internal brake bands. The drop box gearing is similar to the R7 design. The front tire size is 3.00 X 12 with 4.00 X 12 optional. Rear tire size is 6-24 with 7-24 optional, or 7.50 X 16 optional.
In June of 1948, the first R9 model tractor is produced to replace the HY8. This uses the same Wisconsin AHH engine as the HY8, and all the same updates and tire options as the R7A. 49 Model R9 tractors were produced between June 1948 and May 1949.
109 R7A tractors were produced between January 1948 and November 1948. The R6 tractor started production in June 1948 and replaced the R7A. It is virtually the same tractor.
The R12T tractor replaced the R9. The first R12T tractor was produced in July 1948.
So what about the HY8A? One was shipped to Paul Wilkey of Quarryville PA on 6-12-48. The order was received on 1-24-48 for an HY8 in the amount of $740.67. My order book does not list any attachments included with any of the orders in it. My guess would be that Mr. Wilkey was not happy about the delay in getting his tractor. Mr. Shaw did not have an R9 to ship and did not want to lose the sale. So Mr. Shaw put an HY8 engine and transmission into an R7A chassis and told Mr. Wilkey that he was being shipped the new improved model HY8A. The only one ever produced! Glad it survived! Glad that I now know what an HY8A is!