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Country Discussion Topics
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Monkey tractors of the 20's
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Davi Grace    Posted 08-04-2002 at 18:12:19       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Can any one give me the history of how homemade tractors were called monkey tractors? I have a 1928/29 model A Ford and More tractor. It is a home made tractor that was bought by the former owner's father in 1954. He was an Antique Car restorer. People keep telling me that during the depression small farmers would buy old cars and other parts from junkyards and build ther own tractors. does any one else have a monkey tractor?
Thank You Dave Grace

Kevin and Ella Damkoehler    Posted 09-09-2007 at 18:46:06       [Reply]  [Send Email]
They were called doodlebugs. They were what people used in the depression as tractors. Many people who had farms during the depression didnt have money to spend on a new tractor so they took their cars or trucks and made them into tractors. Many of them were Model A's because that was the most common car at that time. In our small town, there are quite a few of us that still have these doodlebugs. we have pulls and use them for farming. If anyone is interested in our pulls,or more information about doodlebugs e-mail us

DeadCarp    Posted 08-05-2002 at 09:41:05       [Reply]  [No Email]
They were called everything from jokers to doodlebugs to bugs to tractors, so i guess monkey tractors would fit right in. There's probably one in every township in the country, if you look behind the sheds. They were made from cars/trucks or whatever was handy, and the one we drove would get up to about 40 and the tie-rod would bounce off, so whatever ride we'd take usually ended up across the ditch tangled up in barbed wire somewhere.
Myself i'd like to see them come back but so many clubs limit the vintage of them, so discourage any attempt at progress. If ya can get one, RUN IT!
Here's a link to a more modern one which has a similar heritage only newer parts and better beer was consumed duing assembly.. :)

Les...fortunate    Posted 08-05-2002 at 02:35:27       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Never heard them called "monkey tractors". Some people around here call them doodlebugs. We had one much as you describe made out of a Model A truck cut down. We called it the homemade tractor or just "the old tractor". My cousin still has it but hasn't run it for years.
Here in NH, I've been told there is a club. They have pulls, shows, etc. I can put you in touch with an enthusiast if you want to shoot me an email.

SEE THIS LINK    Posted 08-04-2002 at 19:37:33       [Reply]  [No Email]

Okie-Dokie    Posted 08-04-2002 at 18:34:46       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I don't, but I knew a guy who made a pretty spiffy tractor out of a volkswagon drive train and a model t frame. This thing steered from the rear and the front did the pulling. pretty goofy looking but it did work his garden fairly good.

Hogman    Posted 08-04-2002 at 19:19:24       [Reply]  [No Email]
Some were made from "STAR",Whippet" and the "ESSEX" not to be confused with the(DELETED) ESSEX. As I recall The Essex had a pretty good engine and was used to power cross cut saws,boats,tractors and who knows what else. The Star was a second choice.
I do belive the smoothest powered car I have ever driven was a 1928 Willys Knight. I worked for a lumber yard drivin tha truck. Tha Boss owned tha Willys and had Me use it for a gofer vehicle. Also drove a ton and a half model "A" chain drive lumber truck.

Had tha opertunity ta fly a ford trimoter once and flubbed it cause I was talkin when I shoulda been listenin. Opertunity knocked once and quickly walked away,alas and alack.

Clem    Posted 08-04-2002 at 20:24:56       [Reply]  [No Email]
Yup Hogman, I know what you mean. Sometimes that brass ring only comes around once.

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