Minneapolis Moline Collectors News and Information - Info-Tech Stories

Preservation Grants Encourage MM Restorations

October 14, 2016 - 2:12 PM

Your club membership helps encourage interest in preserving and restoring Minneapolis Moline history, tractors, and implements. Two young people learned much about the MM legacy as well as how to restore tractors. Their projects connected them with many who know about the company and they also learned that hard work and perseverance pay off in many ways. Thank you for being a part of our MM family by supporting such projects with your membership dues. This is just one of many benefits our club provides and keeps the history and legacy of the MM companies alive!

Check out more information on the Projects page. 

Tayler Jones Displays 1962 GVI Restoration

August 1, 2016 - 11:20 AM
Visit the 2016 Farm Progress Show in Boone, IA and stop by to see the MMCI display. Tayler Jones from Ottumwa, IA will have her 1962 GVI on display. She received an MMCI Preservation Grant to help with her restoration of this tractor, which received a Reserve Champion award at the 2015 Iowa State Fair. See the full story on the Oral Histories and Preservation Grants page.

MM Experimental Equipment

July 28, 2015 - 9:58 AM

Check out the MM experimental equipment photo album Rick Laleman added to our Photo Page. Scroll to the Other Categories. Thanks Rick!!!

Video of the NT Clone Project

August 19, 2014 - 9:15 AM
See a video produced by Jeff Laleman of their NT Experimental Tractor https://www.youtube.com/user/mmcollectorsclub

1943 MM Experimental Tractor-NT Clone

August 19, 2014 - 9:06 AM

Jeff and Sandy Laleman from Rock Falls, IL, brought their 1943 NT "Clone" to the MMCI Summer Show in Montevideo, MN. The tractor is a replica of the experimental NT that was demonstrated at the Minneapolis-Moline Experimental Farm their family operated in the 1940s. They have pictures of the tractor working at the farm in September of 1943 and were told the tractor was probably destroyed.

Recently Loren Book, Nevada, IA, gave them photos of the tractor when it was at the Hopkins Minnesota Assembly Plant. Using the "up close" photos, they were able to put together a clone of the missing tractor. The more powerful NT was to replace the ZT, but the Z remained in production until 1955.

The engine is a model of which was used in the military NT X "Jeep," thus the name NT. The sheet metal resembles the model U. This was done to keep cost down. The tractor came up with the MM Patented throttle clutch that was never used on any other production model.

Jeff says, "We did our best to build a replica as close as we could. And we are still hopeful the original NT is out there. We could not have done such a project without the help of the following people: Loren Book, Bill Ellis, Rob Ohda, John DeReu, Ron DePauw, Wilbert Kerchner, and Rick Laleman."

See a video of the NT Clone on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/mmcollectorsclub

Working on a Restoration?

July 4, 2012 - 9:07 PM
We'd love to hear about your restorations and MM projects. Send us your story and photos!

The 'R' Registry (Message Board)

January 18, 2012 - 6:03 PM

by Butch Fuder

Have you ever wondered how many cabs were built for the Minneapolis Moline "R" ag tractors? How about how many still exist, where they are located, and who owns them?

Rex Mercer and I have pondered these same thoughts ourselves. Rex has worked on numerous cabs and fabricated various parts for them over the years; and I reproduced 25 sets of doors for these cabs, as well as some other cab parts. Between the two of us, we had what we thought was a good idea of answers to the above questions.

Recently we put our list of names together and sorted out the duplicates and came up with a list of forty plus cabs known to exist. We then decided to beat the bushes and see if we could locate any others. At this point in time was have a list of about 80. Is this preliminary list accurate and complete?

That is our current dilemma. We need your help. We have no idea how many other cabs are not on our list and if some cabs are being counted more than once. We would like to hear from anyone who owns or knows of a cab, and if possible, give us a name of the previous owner. This would help us sort out the duplicates. We would not publish any names without the owner's permission, but would merely list the current state that it resides in, so please state if you want to remain anonymous. Additional information, such as the serial number of the tractor it is on (and we realize that not all cabs are currently on tractors), and front end style would be interesting also, but of course optional.

If you can help us with any information concerning the project, please contact us. Your help will be very much appreciated!

Rex Mercer
1264 W 950 S
Pendleton, IN 46064
Email: abmercer@ndwave.com
Butch Fuder
2805  290th Ave
Foxhome, MN 56543
Email: moline@agwireless.net

Did You Know?

March 20, 2009 - 11:13 AM

Did you know that the Moline Universal motor cultivator built from 1915-1923 was regularly equipped with self-starter and lights?

John Willys, (from the Willys-Knight Motor Car Company) was a large stockholder of Moline Plow Company. In 1914 the Moline-Knight automobile was produced.

The Twin City 12-20 designed for the 1919 market year was being built and sold in the fall of 1918. This compact unit frame design used two intakes and two exhaust valves per cylinder. This was accomplished with twin camshafts and yielded very high fuel economy. A larger sibling, the 20-35, introduced in 1920, was also a twin cam, 16 valve four-cylinder.

Some of the early MM-Twin Cities sold by Waterloo Company of Canada, like the KTA and 27-44 were referred to as MM-Waterloo tractors and had those letters cast in the top radiator tank.

The high production MM Model Z had no push rods or lifters in its engine. Horizontal valve placement used foot long vertical rocker arms from cam lobe to valve tip.

It is generally assumed the entire Z, ZA, and ZB series used a 206 cubic inch engine, however, the early Z was actually a 185 cubic inch.

MM engineers pioneered the use of liquefied petroleum and produced the first factory built LP gas tractors in 1941.

The MM G-707 and G-708 still used a hand clutch in 1965. The R and G series used hand clutches to productions end in 1955. Many people mistakenly believe the hand clutch disappeared when the ZB-UB series was introduced in 1953.

From 1937 to 1947 MM tractors were yellow, not Prairie Gold! The famous orange hued Prairie Gold did not show up in company advertising or tractor finishes until 1947 or 1948. Prairie Gold was used from 1948 to 1960. 4 Star, M5, and G-VI had a darker shade of Prairie Gold tinwork and metallic bronze chassis. Early Jet Stars were all metallic bronze. Through the Sixties, late Jet Star, U, M, and G series were Energy Yellow, with Dyna Brown chassis. Some final models in the late Sixties and early Seventies were red and white. Minneapolis Moline used more than six colors from 1937 to production’s end in 1973.

~Tony Thompson

An Industry Leader

March 20, 2009 - 10:56 AM

As we progress into the 21st Century Twin City tractors have become highly prized collectibles with industry leading history. Perhaps the most influential design would be the 12-20. This tractor was engineered and advertised for the 1919 market year; however it is possible that ink and paper were moving to design this machine as early as 1917. By October 1918 warehouses at the Lake Street plant were full and 12-20's were already being delivered to dealers and sold to the public.

This was Minneapolis Steel & Machinery Company's first lightweight machine and was re-rated to 17-28 in 1926. It was still available through 1935, for a total production run of 17 years. The 12-20 set a designing trend for other Twin Cities and direct relationships between the 12-20 and MM tractors were apparent until 1960. This 5000 lb. machine used a vertical 4 ¼ X 6 4 cylinder 340 cubic inch engine that posted unusually high fuel economy through the use of dual camshafts and 4 valves per cylinder. At 1000 rpms 3 gallons of kerosene would produce 18.5 drawbar hp, and 28 belt pulley hp for a full hour. Two forward speeds of 2.2 and 2.9 mph were used.

When the Company's books were closed on New Year's Eve of 1919, 2900 12-20's had already been sold. Year to year breakdown of serial numbers is nearly nonexistent, but here is what we do know.

• Nearly one third of total production was sold by the end of 1919, production tapered off, and it took six more years to sell the other two thirds.
  • Beginning serial number for 1918 is 10201
• First 505 units used a horizontal gas starting tank behind main tank.
• Gas starting tank was placed under the hood from # 10707 to 17034
• Starting tank was mounted vertical behind main tank from # 17035 on
• First 1,010 units used a Bosch D.U. 4. magneto with large external impulse starter
• First 1,900 units used a spring loaded Borg & Beck clutch. Over center Twin Disc starts at # 12100
• In June of 1920 # 12278 was delivered to Nebraska test lab. Results are posted under test # 19
• First 5,040 made used a Pierce governor, 8 spoke front wheels, 2 piece hand crank, and early double hump or "M" shaped intake manifold
• In 1924 carburetor and manifolding updates increased power output. Engine castings and internal dimensions remained the same
  • On December 4th, 1925 production had reached #18733

• Chassis #'s 18734 - 19219 were used from December 5th, 1925 to May of 1926
• Total production from 1918 to 1926 was just over 9,000 units using serial #'s 10201 - 19219

~Tony Thompson