Tractor or equip. demos

Jack a

Anybody out there have any stories about field demos especially back in the 1930's through the 1960's. The kind of demos where the different makes would go head to head at a farmers field.

For example my uncle tells of a demo between a 60 Deere and a WD45 and how that 45 easily out performed the 60 using the same pull-type plow and a stop watch. He had just gotten out of the Army back in about 1953 and just down the road from my Grandpa's farm this demo took place. The neighbor was going to buy the 60 but the local AC dealer wanted to first challenge the Deere dealer to plowing demo using the farmers plow. The rounds were timed and at first the 45 was marginally beating the 60 at each round then the mechanic decided to shift up into 3rd gear on the 45 and just blew the 60 away the rest of the afternoon. The Deere dealer would constantly be adjusting the carb and the farmer buying the 60 was claiming the AC dealer brought a hopped up tractor.

In the end the farmer bought the 60 but his brother bought an Allis and that demo sold a lot of Allis tractors in the area. My Grandpa traded his Fordson for a WC just a few years before that and that was enough to sell him on AC but my uncle was definitely sold on AC after the demo and never looked back.

For a few years I worked at an AC dealership and the older mechanics told of many stories like that especially involving the WD45, or D17, D19 and 190XT.

No stories specifically, but I recall my grandpa mentioning running some tractors against other brands when he was the owner of the Allis Chalmers dealership in Estelline, SD in the early 50s.

Funny you mention the Fordson - my great grandpa went from a Fordson to a WC also - he and my grandpa were both AC men for the rest of their lives after that. I have a picture of my great grandpa on the Fordson (steel wheels) pulling a threshing machine while my grandpa is standing near by (probably early 1920s). Also have a photo of my mom as a chubby little girl (2 or 3 years old) sitting on the WC. Some of my favorite pictures!
My Grandpa's first WC had the light crankshaft (rods were smaller diameter) and that broke right away but he installed a new heavy crank himself and loved that tractor after that. He always did his own mechanic work. That's something you can't do on today's tractors. He really loved the speed at which he could work in the field and on the road. He only had bad things to say about the Fordson which also broke the crank after having many other troubles especially starting.
I worked at an AC dealer 84-94 witch is no where near wd days. my first demo was with a 8030 mfwd and a gehl 1060 chopper in corn there was a big mudd hole the guy was working around. i had never chopped and not even driven tractor mutch. the boss was not there yet and the farmer wanted to go so i went to get out of the seat to let him drive he said go ahead. so i got to chop corn for the first time. needless to say i was sweating bullets. when the boss got there he headed right to the mudd and pulled the chopper and wagon right thru like nothing while chopping. the chopper was draging the frame. we didnt sell anything but i was impressed, for the time. now i run a 600 hp claas chopper, quite a step up. i still love chopping corn when everything holds together.
Sometimes demos become legends depending on what color you prefer but nothing beats being there. I remember when I started the dealership and dad would come over to sit and chat awhile and we had an elder gentleman helping us set up the parts area that was the retired salesman for the old local AC dealership and dad was hardcore Farmall and they used to argue about a couple demos they did for dad and finally dad would agree but said I don't care if that WD did flips and sumersaults I was going to buy the new M Farmall. Goes to show you reasoning doesn't always hold true. I personally had that in my favor when going against a JD4440 and a IH1086 with a AC7020 at a dynoed 127 pto hp for a guy that was trading in an 190XT. The 4440 was struggling with his 5X18 plow the 1086 did OK with his 5X18 plow then my turn came and he hung the 5X20 off of his XT on my 7020 I gulped he said I'll drive I said OK and I watched it did pretty good. He was smiling when he got back around he sent the others packing I did the paperwork and drove off with his 190 It just wasn't one of those legendary days unless you were one to write legends.CT

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