1948 Empire 88, One of 350
Oct 01, 2012
It emerged at the end of World War II, and reflected the war with its Willys Jeep drivetrain and other assorted Jeep and standard parts. Empire tractors were built in Philadelphia for the sole purpose of exporting them under various aid programs such as the Marshall Plan. But by 1948, deals fell through and the company declared bankruptcy, even though more than 5,000 had been exported. The 1,200 Empires left were sold in the U.S. and Canada at about $900, close to the price of a Ford 8N—a far superior tractor. This tractor has a 134 cid Willys engine advertised at 30 hp. Carl Herring, Cayuga, N.Y. publishes the Empire newsletter and has recorded 350 surviving Empire tractors in the U.S.—plus various foreign countries.
Owner: Larry Harpster
Pennsylvania Furnace, Penn.
He’s a charter member of the Empire Owners Club, and the Nittany Antique Machinery Association. Empire Expos are held annually at various tractor shows throughout the country. Larry, a former teacher, has other “family heirloom” tractors that he hopes to restore.
This tractor is featured for the month of February in the 2013 Classic Farm Tractors Calendar. A companion DVD is also available which runs 80 minutes and features all the tractor and their owners. To order the calendar and/or DVD, call 800-888-8979 or go to www.classictractors.com