Build 'em Yourself
Vision, Skill and Ingenuity Come Together in the Making of Mini-Tractors
I make theses tractors out of parts I col-lect over time, and it
can some times take a couple of years to pull together everything I
need. On the two tractors here, for instance, I collected, among
other things; various Volkswagon parts, Plymouth wheels, skid
loader tires, lawn tractor wheels, fence posts, well pipe, 5-inch
gas pipe, 30-caliber machine gun box, a Briggs & Stratton
single-cylinder engine, a two-cylinder Wisconsin engine and an old
There are no plans or drawings for anything I build, but I do
spend a considerable amount of time sitting on a bucket trying to
figure everything out. The frame on the John Deere Model A is
4-inch channel iron, while the steering post is a piece of well
pipe. The steering gear itself is from a Volkswagon, and the gas
tank started life as a fire extinguisher. The homemade engine is
for looks, and a starter from a Dodge Omni hooks into the side of
the tractor and spins the hidden Briggs & Stratton. Modifying
the manifold of the Briggs engine made it sound like a popping
Johnny - that's when you can really turn heads.
Al's mini John Deere Model is a classic examples of the
fabricator's art, skillfully crafted from salvaged automotive,
lawn tractor and industrial parts.
Allis-Chalmers WC is a classic examples of the fabricator's
art, skillfully crafted from salvaged automotive, lawn tractor and
The 1937 Allis-Chalmers WC uses an even-fire two-cylinder
Wisconsin electric-start engine for power, a Cub Cadet hydrostatic
drive and skid loader tires. It is a beautiful running machine that
drives well, and it uses many of the same parts I pulled together
for the John Deere. I made the Allis in memory of my father and the
farm we worked on before going off to fight in World War II.
There are two seats on both machines, a feature we are well
known for as my wife, Betty, goes with me to the shows. It's
nice to have a good partner.
I would like to thank the people from Deere Valley Two-Cylinder
Club of Bettendorf, Iowa, where these pictures were taken last
summer. The people were so friendly and we felt well accepted. We
had a great time.
Contact engine enthusiasts Al and Betty McGee at: 547 31st
Ave., East Moline, IL 61244.