Speedex years ?
Posted August 22, 2016 - 08:26 PM
Posted August 22, 2016 - 09:28 PM
The company was started in 1935 or so by Harold Pond in Ravenna Ohio. I believe they may have carried the Pond name first few years, but was named Speedex not too long after the founding.
Up until the mid '40s he was buying Ford engines and rear ends to build them. In the mid '40s Henry Ford cut him off because he was competing with the Fordson tractors. It's a bit murky to me for awhile but by the 1960s he was building tractors similar to other garden tractors - using Briggs and Kohler engines.
There was a series of S models (S-17, S-24 etc.) and those S models seem to me to be the most common still around. There were also numbered models which I believe were introduced after the S models and seem more modern in design. There was a lot of variety in the number models - some gear driven, others hydrostatic. Many were tall wheel tractors but some had the 12" wheels and design similar to modern garden or lawn tractors.
As near as I can figure there were never a lot of any particular number model produced. They seem to be less common. As I recall the peak production year was 1500 units (all models).
The company closed in 1994. Sometime a few years after the assets were acquired by Armstrong Manufacturing and moved to Armstrong county Pennsylvania. The tractors they produced were branded Strongland. That venture didn't last long and there seem to be very few Strongland tractors out there.
The number of different models and variations they were producing in the number series tractors is astonishing for a low volume outfit. It's quite surprising they lasted as long as they did.
Judging by current Craigslist ads most of the Speedex tractors ended up in North East Ohio and Western Pennsylvania. As you get farther away there are less and less of them. I do occasionally see one down South or out West and very rarely in Canada.
My tractor is a model 1631 and I believe it was manufactured in June of 1994 - which would make it one of the last Speedex tractors produced. It's got several things about it that are more similar to the Strongland tractors than the Speedex models from just a few years earlier.
Edited by MiCarl, August 22, 2016 - 09:30 PM.
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Posted August 24, 2016 - 03:55 PM
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Posted August 29, 2016 - 06:49 PM
The Speedex tractor company it still in operating in Bolivar Ohio. They haven't built any tractors since the early90's but say that they have some parts available.
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