Heritage Iron Magazine was founded in 2008 in order to fill a need for those interested in muscle tractors. Heritage Iron features all brands, all makes, and all models of muscle tractors from the 1960’s to mid 1980’s including the equipment used by the tractors. Each issue highlights a featured tractor and presents a detailed account of the tractor, its attributes, its history, and its owner. Other regular features in the magazine are machinery milestones, letters to the editor, equipment and company history, classified ads, auction results, an editor’s page, farm toys, literature and memorabilia.
Monumental Machines in Agriculture
Mar 21, 2011
By Sherry Schaefer, editor Heritage Iron magazine
The 1960s and 70s represented an exciting era in the world of farm equipment. John Deere had taken a giant step away from their infamous two-cylinder models. Allis Chalmers was starting to turbocharge some of their models. IH was aiming for the 100 hp mark when they designed the 1206. Every manufacturer was on a mission to give the farmer just what they wanted – horsepower, styling, comfort and economy.
Massey Ferguson had their own ideas. Already well-known for the advanced Ferguson System of hydraulics, they turned their attention to other components of the trator. In 1965, Massey introduced their first turbocharged model, the 1130. This tractor used a 354 CID Perkins engine.
In 1969, Massey went a step farther when they introduced the world’s first V-8 powered Row Crop tractor – the 1150. This monumental machine used a Perkins V8.510 which had previously only been used in trucks and buses.
The 1150 holds the prestigious title of “First V-8 Row Crop Tractor.” This sent the other manufacturers scrambling and in the next few years, there were several V8 power ag models introduced. IH took their truck engine and put it in the 1468 followed by the 1568. Oliver joined in by introducing their Cat powered 2255.
While the V8 engine initially appeared to be a good idea, it wasn’t one that last a good length of time. Stroke was limited on a V8 configuration. In the field in varying conditions, tractors required a good deal of torque to maintain RPMs under full load. The in-line 6-cylinder could deliver the power that a V8 couldn’t.
Today the 1150 Massey is a highly sought after tractor. The 11,000-pound machine was in full production from 1970-1972 as a Row Crop or Western Special. Marketed as the Maxi-Massey, this maxi machine is another fine example of the innovations by manufacturers during the muscle tractor era.
Photo by Super T
Tractor owner: Shane Bowman – Albany, Ind.
About the Author:
Sherry Schaefer is a Greenville, Illinois (Bond County) native who grew up around tractors and farm equipment. Her grandfather, Ervin Schaefer, was an Oliver tractor dealer in both Granite City and Hamel, Illinois from 1936 -1965. Her father, Oliver “Ollie” Schaefer, is a used Oliver tractor and equipment dealer in Greenville, Illinois. The Schaefer family also owned and operated a national tractor pulling sled service for more than twenty-five years beginning in the late 1960s. Schaefer has authored three books, Farm Tractor Collectibles, (MBI Publishing, in 1998), Oliver Tractors, (MBI Publishing, in 2001) and Classic Oliver Tractors: History, Models, Variations & Specifications 1855-1976, (Voyageur Press, 2009).Heritage Iron Magazine was founded in 2008 in order to fill a need for those interested in muscle tractors. Heritage Iron features all brands, all makes, and all models of muscle tractors from the 1960’s to mid 1980’s including the equipment used by the tractors. Learn more at www.HeritageIron.com