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Interesting picture - 1928 Buick converted to logging truck.


bob duffer
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Usually though, a photo like this usually starts by alluding to the ingenuity of our earlier generations, and ends with a diatribe about the lack of ability of the current generation to even work on a car. I stand to repudiate that assumption, and am prepared to post a photo of the huge muffler my neighbors kid just put on his Honda.

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  • Peter Gariepy changed the title to Interesting picture - 1928 Buick converted to logging truck.
40 minutes ago, JACK M said:

What do you suppose that thing is behind the front wheel of the trailer?

Brakes maybe? Looks like it would drag in the mud.

The trailer's parking brake, for when it's parked solo.  I don't see a way it can be actuated from the prime mover.

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55 minutes ago, JACK M said:

What do you suppose that thing is behind the front wheel of the trailer?

Brakes maybe? Looks like it would drag in the mud.

 

I don't think it's attached to the trailer.  Looks like something sticking up beside the trail, part of a fence post, boundary marker, etc.

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The 1910 Enger 40 touring car that I am in the middle of restoring was turned into a grain grinder for a small cattle operation in Aurelia Iowa by the original owners of the car.   I would have to think that a 20 year old car at the beginning of the depression was fair game for anything to happen to it.  

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Wonder when the picture was taken?  A lot of those conversions got pretty beat up as cars before they were made into tractors.  What's left of the Buick still looks shiny and undamaged as if it wasn't very old when converted.

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I suspect, from how nice the front looks, that the car was only a couple years old at most and wrecked. Either a rollover or nasty rear collision (train?) left a good front half and needing rear end and wheels adapted along with some general creativity.

 

Form-a-tractor kits had been sold since the early 1910s for a wide variety of automobile conversions. Model T Fords of course were the most often used cars. Some of those kits were designed to convert back and forth in a matter of minutes (more likely a hour or two?) so the car could be used to plow the South twenty and then converted back and driven into town.

 

One rather expensive rig actually did take only a couple minutes to switch back and forth. It was a trailer platform with rear wheel rollers and pulleys that transferred power to the lower geared tractor steel wheels. The entire car was driven on and into place, locked/chained down, and used as a tractor. Then when the car was needed, back the tractor against a small levee or berm (ramp?), a simple unchain the car, and drive the mostly unaltered car off and head to town. Notice the farmer below working steering and controls outside the car!

 

Some of the rigs for farmers were quite amazing!

 

What some of the do-it-themselves crowd did was even more incredible!

 

 

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1915-16runaboutform-a-tractor.jpg

puttheoldgirltowork1912Torpedo.jpg

puttinghertowork.jpg

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It probably has 2 transmissions in line giving it an extremely low gear...when I was in HS the best local junk yard, Bills Auto Parts, had a Franklin chassis, around 1928-30, with 2 transmissions and a snow plow. I can't I saw it working but it hadn't been jot of service long judging by its condition.

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The ultimate uppitty farmer transporation was the Minneapolis Moline UDLX  - the automobile/farm tractor.   Very rare and very valuable today.  In the depression it sounded like a good idea to supply both in one vehicle, but farmers thought it too uppitty and very few were sold.

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1 hour ago, Ivan Saxton said:

Remote control of the T from the seat of the moldboard plough looks to be an innovative entry for the Darwin Awards.

 

I was trying to figure out how he started it put it in gear and got to the rear seat. 

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In those days, most farmers, as with most workers in cities, did wear suits and ties almost every day. Most men would regularly buy a new suit, how often would depend upon their station in life, and how badly their old suits would wear out from the harsh working conditions. New suits would be Sunday/go-to-meetin' clothes. Suits not yet much worn would become dinner or 'round the house clothes. As they began to show wear, they would be used for going to work if the work was a bit harsh on clothes.

Of course bankers and many other businessmen would have many more new suits, and usually donate anything showing any wear at all to some charity.

Men wearing clothes better suited to harsh environments were usually outside the cities and local farming communities. Levi Straus invented denim jeans because he bought a bunch of denim material to make and sell tents to the gold miners in the early days of California's gold rush (so the legend says?). When he found most of the miners had tents already, he looked for another use for the material. Most of the miners were still wearing basically old suits, and they weren't holding up very well. So he made jean slacks out of the denim, and the miners loved them. 

Although Levi Straus is considered one of the business world's best success stories, even a half century later, denim jeans still were not terribly common outside certain harsh working conditions. Farmers and factory workers still mostly wore their old suits. I have looked very closely at thousands of era photographs, and I rarely see identifiable denim jeans in them. Denim jeans did not start to become really common until the depression years in the 1930s.

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