"War Tractor" Found In Old Barn, 1942 MM GTA

Tony Thompson

Subscriber
:wave:
Have not had much time to snoop out old iron this year.
Persistant economical humiliation was compounded this summer with several expensive breakdowns that kept me close to home with an empty wallet. Perhaps 2014 will be better :rolleyes:
Plenty of old iron is being rediscovered in old buildings these days as tons of it was stuck away years ago and as owners sell out or pass on, some of these items see daylight again.
I have been passing on lots of common machines, but if you are as sick as I am you cannot walk away from all of them.
The History...
This 1942 Minneapolis Moline GTA was hastilly purchased in 1982 from a divorced woman that was seeking some additional satisfaction from failing prior arrangements. It was driven into this building in 1983, the rear cutdowns were pulled and sold as plans were made to get the tractor back on steel again. The Reagan administration leaked accross the upper-midwest during some of the 80s leaving a trail of broke farmers and abandon dreams.
30 Years Later...
An industrious woodchuck may have tipped a row crop over as the wide front appeared to be supporting a good bit of the upright posture. I had to cave old underground trails in and shovel lots of dirt before I dared to extract the precariously perched 7,000 pounder :uhoh:
I placed mid-20s Twin City 12-20 (12 spoke) rear steel on it to load and haul. Axle size remained the same all these years, but the additional engine torque mandated a beefier hub with 16 spokes for the Twin City 21-32 and evolving GT series.
What is it...
In 1929 when Minneapolis Moline Power Equipment was formed (merge or go broke) MM was just a name for a newly formed company, they did not have an MM tractor and sold Twin City tractors for many years. The successful TC 21-32 or FT was gradually rebadged as an MM-TC and powered up to FTA bearing a tried & true 403ci. engine. In 1938 MM added a fourth gear, attractive tin work and a bright new yellow color to what would now be known as an MM GT. A few other updates followed but to the TC faithful this new GT was loosely considered a "styled" TC 21-32 and still propelled the same basic 21-32 chassis with the same TC 403 incher.
1,200 GTs (red grill) were made through 1941.
In 1942 a bit more evolution took place and the model would now be refered to as a GTA (yellow grill). The same engine got a bump in RPM along the way, but the most notable difference was the loss of TCs cast iron front frame in favor of the channel irons that you see here. There were 1,500 GTAs made through 1947. MM went back to the drawing board with the follow up GTB and produced those in substantial numbers.
Here and now...
This early GTA was hand start on steel as many were during the war. It was later cutdown for rubber and electric items added in. I have front steel, but I need 16 spoke rears from GT or FTA and will try to return to original running condition as time and money allows.
Good luck on all your projects everyone!
Tony
 

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Ed Bezanson

In Memory Of
Tony How do you find all this fabulous old iron. I have discovered some neat stuff but you keep coming up with amazing iron year after year. Congrats. Ed B
 

J Ware

Subscriber
Nice looking addition to your TC collection Tony, them wheels are out there. I like those war time tractors on steel, I have 2 their just Case's and people at shows find it hard to believe that they came on steel. Good luck on this project, Jim
 
Nice Lookin Mosheen. One of these days I need to tackle my 1944 GTA.. On Factory rubber but with the price of 16.9x30 I sure wish it was on steel :eek: Hopeing a nice exhaust manifold just lands in my garage by accident too LOL..
RLP
 

Howardh

New member
Thanks for the post! I have always liked the looks & style of the old GTAs.

I have one that runs pretty good - but it was converted to LP and doesn't have the side curtains.

Yours sure looks pretty original and complete! Cool old tractor!! :)

Howard
 

ronm

Subscriber
:wave:
. The Reagan administration leaked accross the upper-midwest during some of the 80s leaving a trail of broke farmers and abandon dreams.
Tony
Bullcrap, Tony....Read your history-Carter's grain embargo & sky-high interest rates were the cause of the ag bust in the 80-'s....why did you spoil a good post with that noise? Take your political opinions to Smoke, Gas, & Flames...
 

Tony Thompson

Subscriber
Bullcrap, Tony....Read your history-Carter's grain embargo & sky-high interest rates were the cause of the ag bust in the 80-'s....why did you spoil a good post with that noise? Take your political opinions to Smoke, Gas, & Flames...

Aww Heck,
Sorry to leave you so agitated ronm.
Actually I have little or no political opinions to disscuss one way or the other...here is what happened...
I have been dealing with the elderly owner of this machine for some time. When I asked what left the GTA sitting on blocks he said Reagan nearly left him broke in the 80s. As time passed continued visits with the owner and several of his farmer buddies left me hearing the same story from all of them...I just went with it after hearing it over and over. It came along with the tractor as part of it's history and I did not care enough about politics to conferm if these old guys were missleading me or not. As you not so politely pointed out, I am dummer than a pail of hammers where political history is concerned...spoiled my own thread even...not too bright.
I did like Clinton though, as best I know the only thing he ruined was a dress. A garmet will wash as easy someones opinion will.
Tony
 

ronm

Subscriber
Good save, Tony...;)
As long as it's part of the story, it's all good...can't do anything about the former owner's misconceptions now, can we? :rolleyes:
You must live in the prime iron-hunting area, finds like that are dang rare in these parts these days...
I thought Clinton was a mess, but compared to the current occupant, he's startin' to look better...:O
Better watch out here, our left-leaning mod will have my head...:uhoh:
 

Brasherman

Subscriber
Whichever way the leaning is, the truth here is you sure have a knack for finding and rescuing original tractors in prime condition! :salute:
 

Tony Thompson

Subscriber
Thanks to 15-30 Rumely for picture of late GT in post #12.
MM GT 1938 - 1941.
MM GTA 1942 - 1947.
The photo of the red faced GT gives viewers a good opportunity to see the change from Twin City cast front frame to the GTAs channel iron frame. Also the flywheeel on the GT was still visible or open. This is a quick way to ID these machines for those on the hunt.
MM had a good crew of engineers and evolved the old TC 21-32 into a real nice machine. At 1,200 units & 1,500 units they are low production when compared to many other makes.
Many of the Early GTs were low compression, hand start tractors on full steel. I have always wanted one of those to cap off the gray area that I dwell in, but they are rarely available for sale. The "war time" GTA may help to soothe my bucket list itch as it came on steel. These 7,000 lb brutes had several head options that could boost power levels of the dependable 403 to better match their solid build. Factory rubber with weight options could net you 10,000 easy enough. These tractors could exceed 50 HP on the belt and suffered very little parasitic drivetrain loss. Under the old rating system, a conservative figure would be 40-50.
Nice huh :)
Tony
 
R

Richard Sturdy

Guest
I'm glad that you have found that GTA Tony; I have a 1945 one on factory rubber and with electrics. As you say, they're great machines for wheel grip and run out of power long before the tyres come unstuck from the ground. Mine is a TVO (kerosene) version which was originally imported into the UK under the lease/lend scheme, to help raise UK food production during and immediately after WW2.
Regards
Richard
 

Molinegb

New member
Tony

What is serial #? My 42 GTA is 218 and has cast steering wheel,rear steel and pto. My 1940 Gt has 32 inch factory rubber. Also have parts GT which has no tag and it has cutoffs with 30" rims.
 

d21smith

New member
got my 39 gt out of shed today thought id show pic or two. I completely overhauled engine, and have many many hours in getting the original gear drive generator working correctly I have the rear original cast wheels but I am looking for a good wheel so I put the cutoffs on it for now. planning on painting a few this winter......
 

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Tony Thompson

Subscriber
Gary,
You asked about serial number saying you had #218. This GTA is #57 of the first year (1942).

David,
Thanks for posting photos of your Gs! They are very powerful machines and I l am hoping that my early G will run without having to much disassembly and cost.
The engine is loose, and the tractor is very complete and correct. It was rumored to run good 30 years ago and was driven into the building where I just pulled it from. I looked up the head numbers and referenced them to my head chart for bore and stroke of the G's 403. Compression ratio figures in at 5.38 to 1. That would be about right for a hand start machine of that time frame.
Nebraska test # 317 in 1939 shows title of "MM-Twin City GT" making 37 on the drawbar and 54 on the belt.
I hope to get a better look at this one sometime in November?
Tony
 
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