(Avoca) What maybe the most unique tractor in the world is on display at the Farmall-Land U.S.A. Museum in Avoca, a 26,500 square foot facility owned by Jerry and Joyce Mez.
The museum is the home of Mez’s incredible collection of more than 150 IH full-size tractors, pedal tractors, toy tractors, artist’s prints, and other IH memorabilia.
The impressive collection represents a lifetime of collecting by Jerry Mez. But maybe the most impressive piece of machinery has just arrived. It is a twin drive 450-Diesel tractor, the only one of its’ kind in the world. It was built in 1955 and spent thirty-six-years in the farm fields in Washington State.
“It is two 450’s put together side-by-side with a four-wheel drive configuration and unless people see this they are not going to understand,” stated Mez. “Most of the attempts at making more power were front-to-rear; these are side-by-side.”
Mez says the tractors are connected together by a series of roller chains from the front to the back. Each has 55-horse power and together put out 110-horse.
“Each tractor operates independent, you start it independently, there is a clutch for each tractor and hopefully you put them in the same gear.”
So how does it turn you ask?
“If you want to turn to the left you increase the throttle on the right engine and vise-versa,” said Mez, who said the first time he saw the tractor at a show “he wanted it.”
“I will never have it other than on loan,” said Mez.
A man by the name of Harry Lee bought it from the Garrett family. Lee passed away about two years ago and left it to his some of his relatives and told them that the wanted it to be in Jerry Mez’s museum sometime and that is where it is today.
The Farmall-Land U.S.A. museum is located on Interstate 80 and Highway 59. It’s open from Tuesday through Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and noon to 5:00 p.m. on Sundays.
June 14, 2013