Saturday, July 15, 2017

Allis-Chalmers W Speed Patrol

Allis-Chalmers was a company that strove to be all things to every market. In the early years of the 20th Century there were many more miles of washboard dirt roads than there were paved ones and consequently there were lots of potential customers who wanted to do something about the teeth rattling experience of motoring the nation's byways. There were already a number of companies with years of experience building road graders so A-C approached Ryan Manufacturing Company with a deal that apparently they couldn't refuse. This gave A-C an intro with a line of pull and motor graders in 1931.

The model W Speed Patrol was introduced in 1940 as a replacement for the WC Speed Maintainer. It was designed to meet the demands of a market that needed a light duty road grader at an affordable price. During a production run that lasted from 1940 to 1950 Allis manufactured 3751 units.

The Speed Patrol was basically a WC farm tractor that had been fitted with a 10 foot blade for road work. A simple machine, it lacked a hydraulics system with all blade adjustments being manual.

Built at the Allis-Chalmers works at LaPorte, Indiana and Springfield, Illinois it was powered by an A-C four cylinder 201 cubic inch gasoline engine that was rated at 32 horsepower at 1300 rpm. A four speed forward plus reverse transmission provided a range of forward speeds from 2.5 to 9.5 mph.

The WC farm version was in production from 1933 to 1948 and proved to be a  popular tractor selling 178,000 units. Designed as a row crop fitted with rubber tires a quoted price for a 1948 model was $825.

The WC was shipped to the University of Nebraska Lincoln for test number 304 in June of 1938. The gasoline version posted a maximum observed rating of 22.29 hp drawbar and 29.93 on the belt. You can  view and download a complete copy of this test report by visiting

The Speed Patrol shown here was exhibited at the 2016 Richland Creek Antique Fall Festival in Saluda, SC. No information was displayed about this machine’s history or the owner's name.

Additional Resources:
The Earthmover Encyclopedia by Keith Haddock

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Jaques Mighty Mite

The late 40’s and the 50’s were a time of unbridled optimism in America. The toxic Tube was still in it’s infancy and the day when it would poison the minds and destroy the health of millions lay far in the future. Much of Europe was in ruin of course and Russia and Eastern Europe had the added curse of Bolshevism to contend with but here in the USA it seemed that anything was possible, not even the sky was the limit.

Whoever wrote the ad copy for the Jaques Mighty Mite brochure was infected with some of that irrational exuberance. Beside farm cropping operations the ad claims the Mighty Mite excelled at: hauling crops and livestock to market, clearing brush and timberland, felling trees and cutting logs and cordwood, grading fire barriers, building and maintaining private roads, and leveling building sites to name but a few and all this from a  six horsepower motor. You can enjoy a Mighty Mite brochure and an ad that appeared in The Progressive Farmer by visiting .

In an article that was published by Farm Collector Magazine in June of 2001 Sam Moore writes that Graham-Paige Frazer Farm Equipment Co. designed the Frazer Model T garden tractor in 1948 and contracted with the Jaques Power Saw Co. of  Dennison Texas to build the Chassis which was shipped to York, Pa. where Frazer installed engines built by Bell Aircraft Co. and hoods that were made from leftover airplane parts. When Frazer was bought out in 1950, Jaques  continued to market the tractor as the Mighty Mite. This may or may not be the case but the dates don’t jibe with those given for the advertisements referenced above.

According to the Mighty Mite brochure the little strongman left the factory with an “ L-head air cooled 4 cycle engine that developed 6.1 hp at 2700 rpm and 6.5 hp at 3200 rpm from a single cylinder that had a bore of 3 1/16 “ and a stroke of 3 ¼ “ inches. Three forward speeds provided a range of 2 ½  to 10 mph plus a reverse.

Stopping short of claiming an evaluation at the Nebraska Tractor Test, the copy reads: “ The following are the drawbar pulls as computed by formulas approved by the University of Nebraska Farm Implement Experiment Station and in accordance with rules accepted by the Society of Automotive Engineers : 655 lbs draw bar pulls at 3000 rpm in low, 369 lbs draw bar pulls at 3000 rpm in second, 217 lbs draw bar pulls at 3000 rpm in high, 715 lbs draw bar pulls at 2200 rpm in low. “ Pretty slick , huh!

“Wherever versatile power is needed, hitch onto the Mighty Mite”. It appears that Jaques did provide a respectable number of accessories for use with their tractor. The brochure shows : a seed planter, mower, cultivator, disc harrow, turning plow and trailer, all presumably designed and built by Jaques expressly for the Mighty Mite.

The 1949 Mighty Mite shown here is owned by Bradley and Candy Richey and was on display at the 2017 Foothills Antique Power Association of NC show at the Hickory Fairgrounds on May 20th. It is just one of a number of interesting garden tractors in their collection so we’ll be looking at some of the others in future posts.