Thursday, March 19, 2015

Streamlined Oliver Tractors at Dacusville

The 1930’s saw most of the developed countries struggling with the worst depression anyone could remember so naturally anything that suggested a brighter future had instant appeal.  Aviation was still new and exciting; airplane design became sleeker and futuristic looking. Streamlining was all the rage so industrial designers figured if it’s good for airplanes why not for whatever they were hired to sell. First came the Zephyr a 100 mph bullet of a locomotive then streamlined cars. Even things that didn’t move like toasters and Greyhound Bus Stations got the treatment, so when the Oliver Corporation introduced its new tractor line in 1935; you guessed it, it was streamlined.

The model 70 really was an advanced tractor design. Powered by a new Continental six cylinder engine that burned 70 octane gas instead of kerosene (where it got its name) it developed 28 hp on the drawbar and 31 hp on the belt.

The model 70 was offered with upgrade options that included an electric starter, a six speed transmission and optional rubber wheels in 1937.

The Row Crop Model 70 like this one on display at the 2014 Dacusville Farm Show owned by Kim & Jeff Jackson was produced from 1937 to 1948. Production numbers vary from 50,941 to 63,000 depending on the source.

Oliver’s streamlined series included the Model 66 like this 1950 Row Crop also owned by the Jacksons, one of 11,472 units made between 1949 – 1954. The 4 cylinder engine produced 22 hp drawbar, 27 hp on the belt according to the info on the show placard.

In 1948 Oliver introduced the Model 77 like this one from the Leon Moody Memorial Tractor Collection.  Production continued until 1954 with 34,447 units sold.

The Model 77 was available as standard or row crop and in LP, gas and diesel versions.

It came with six forward speeds, 2 reverse and a three point hitch. The 194 cubic inch Waukesha - Oliver engine put 32 hp on the drawbar and 37 on the belt.

Sources and Resources:
Dacusville Farm Show exhibit placard
Encyclopedia of American Farm Tractors by C.H. Wendel

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