Massey Harris Model 33 Tractor

Massey Harris Model 33

The Model 33 replaced the Model 30 in 1953. It appears that Massey Harris replaced the engine model used in the Model 30 with a Continental four cylinder engine with 201 cubic inch displacement. The previous continental engine only displaced 162 cubic inches. The engine was offered in gas and distillate versions. Rest of the tractor was essentially the same as a Model 30 however hydraulics, a three point hitch and a live PTO were offered as options in the Model 33. Fenders, electric start and lights were standard. The Model 33 came in standard tread and row crop configurations.

Continental also offered a diesel version of the engine used in the Model 33 and a few diesel Model 33s were built making a diesel 33 a very rare tractor.

Massey Harris Model 33
Massey Harris Model 33

Massey Harris Model 101 Super Tractor

Massey 101 tractor

The Massey Harris (MH) Model 101 Senior tractor is one of the most recognizable tractors in history with its streamlined hood, bright red paint scheme with yellow wheels, chrome trim and louvered side curtains on the engine bay.  In an era when farm machinery was functional in style to say the least, the Massey 101 was revolutionary.

By 1936 the Wallis tractor designs MH had acquired with the purchase of the J.I. Case Plow Works were dated.  James Duncan, MH’s general manager decided that the worst of the Great Depression was over and now was the time for MH to roll out new tractor designs. Money was still tight but Duncan knew of Chrysler Corporations new industrial flat head six cylinder motor of 201 cubic inches. MH could save money by using this engine rather than designing its own engine. Six cylinder engines at the time were desired by farmers as they were “smooth running”. Chrysler with worldwide operations also offered flathead engine parts and service worldwide. MH then did not have to stock as many parts as it could draw upon Chrysler stocks and technicians. 

As Chrysler used these engines in trucks, the engines came with electric starters. Chrysler apparently believed in big production runs to save money and so would not agree to supply engines other than in the configuration Chrysler had settled on. Whether or not MH wanted electric starters on the engines supplied to MH was immaterial, MH got engines with starters and so the MH 101 was the first tractor with electric start as standard equipment. 

The 101 was introduced to the market in 1938 and offered a four speed transmission, PTO, muffler and instruments as standard equipment. A lighting system was optional.  Twin power was also a standard. The twin power feature resulted in the engine being governed to 1500 RPM when the tractor was being used for drawbar work. When used for belt work the twin power feature could be engaged which allowed for an engine RPM of 1800. This increase in engine RPM delivered more power to the belt. While the twin power feature was engaged the transmission was locked out to prevent damage to the power train from the increased power.  The Chrysler engine when used in MH tractors was governed to a lower RPM than when used in trucks. While limiting RPM reduced horsepower, the lower RPM increased engine life and reduced possibility of engine and drive train damage.

The 101 could be purchased in either row crop or standard configurations. The row crop version also came with adjustable rear wheels, individual rear wheel brakes and a combined PTO and implement lift. MH also offered a single front wheel option for vegetable growers.

In 1939, Chrysler’s 217 cubic inch flat head six was offered as an option in place of the 201 cubic inch engine. 

In 1940 the Twin Power 101 became the Twin Power 101 Super at the same time the 217 cubic inch engine became standard. Super however did not come from the use of the larger engine but as a result of the cylinder walls of the 217 flat head being finished with a finer grit stone resulting in a super finish.  Other than the engine the remainder of the tractor remained the same.  With the 217 Flat head six churning out almost 50 horsepower, the Twin Power 101 Super was one of the largest tractors being built in 1940.

Towards the end of the 101’s production run  the styling altered with the side curtains on the engine bay being changed to a half panel  design which only covered the top half of the engine bay and so exposed the sides of the engine with the exception of the head.  The screened grill lost its chrome trim as well. The air cleaner was moved from behind the grill to behind the engine on the left side. 

The MH 101 also came in a distillate burning version however this variation was badged as a MH 102. As well, the 102 used the same grill and side curtains as a MH 201. So the 102 had a somewhat different appearance than a 101. 

Massey 101 tractor

The MH 201 tractor was built to a larger and different design than the 101. While the hood remained largely the same shape as a 101 hood the grill and side curtains were different shapes. In the case of the grill a cast iron grill was used on the 201 not the stamped steel of the 101. The MH 201 was introduced in 1940 to replace the discontinued MH Model 25. The 201 used a Chrysler 241 cubic inch engine with super finished cylinder walls. Later in 1940 MH began to use the Continental 290 cubic inch engine in the basic  201 design but badged the result as a MH 202. MH also offered a distillate burning version of the 202 which was badged as a 203. The 203 had a somewhat larger Continental engine and a small auxiliary gas tank on which to start the engine before switching to distillate.

To confuse matters more MH began offering the 101 Junior tractor in 1939. The MH 101 Junior was a completely different design from the 101 Senior being a much smaller tractor which featured a 124 cubic inch Continental four cylinder engine when introduced. The 101 Junior was designed to fill the bottom end of the MH tractor line up and compete with the Ford 9N.  In 1940 the 101 Junior changed to a 140 cubic inch Continental engine and then in 1943 changed to a 162 cubic inch Continental  engine.  

One reason that MH switched to Continental engines was that Continental was willing to produce engines in a configuration that the customer wanted. Chrysler would not do this as changing engines on the production line from a standard configuration would slow down production. As well Chrysler probably had it hands full producing engines for military vehicles by 1940. Strange as it seems by today’s standards the Chrysler Flat Head Six design even powered tanks. Five flat head engines were arranged around and geared to a common output shaft to produce an engine called the “Multibank” or “eggbeater” that produced 500 some horsepower.  These engines were installed in some 7500 American Sherman tanks. Most tanks with this engine were shipped to British and Commonwealth countries as lend lease military aid. As wild as this engine looked, apparently it worked well and compared very well to other engines used in Shermans. Chrysler’s flat head six design was nothing but versatile!

Massey Harris Model 25

Massey Harris 26-42
Massey Harris 26-42
Massey Harris 26-42

The Massey Harris Model 25 made its debut in 1932 and was an update of the Wallis 20/30.

Wallis had been purchased by Massey Harris in 1928 in order for Massey Harris to become a full line agricultural machinery company. Having a full line to offer farmers was thought to be an advantage at the time. This trend had been started in the early 1900s by IHC which, partially as a result of building and offering for sale every machine likely to be needed by a farmer, was very successful. Other machinery companies realized that they also needed to offer a fairly comprehensive line of machinery in order to keep their customers from going elsewhere to obtain some machine and in doing so, fall into the hands of a competing machinery company.

Wallis in 1928 was owned by the J.I.Case Plow Works which was separate from the Case Threshing Machine Company which was the company which built steam engines, Case tractors and Case threshing machines.

J.I. Case Plow Works by 1928 had been badly weakened by the competition from Fordson and Farmall tractors and the economic downturn of the early 1920s. Massey Harris purchased the company for $2,400,000. Massey Harris promptly turned around and sold the J.I. Case Plow Works name to Case Threshing Machine Company for $700,000. Case Threshing Machine changed their name to the J.I. Case Company at that time.

Massey Harris continued on selling the Wallis line of tractors under the Wallis name.  In 1932 Massey Harris decided that the tractors needed some updating and a change from the Wallis name to Massey Harris. The designs were selling as well as possible in 1932, the height of the Great Depression and if Massey Harris could extract a few more years from the Wallis designs the company could avoid making a major outlay for design and development of new tractor designs at a time when money was very tight.

The update of the Wallis 20/30 saw the four cylinder engine’s rpm increase to 1200 rpm which gave a horsepower rating of 26/41. One could order either a kerosene or distillate fuelled engine. A three speed transmission was standard as were brakes on the rear wheels. The Model 25 was painted in Massey Harris’s dark green paint scheme.

Approximately 14,000 Model 25s were sold between 1933 and 1938. In 1938 the Model 25 was streamlined and painted red, however the mechanical details remained the same. Only about 1000 streamlined Model 25s were sold between 1938 and 1946 when production of the Model 25 was ended.

The Model 25’s production run was not bad for a tractor meant to be a stop gap until better conditions returned and money could be spent on a major design effort, but then Wallis roots meant that the basic  design was in advance of the competition in many aspects. The frame was built out of a single piece of curved boiler plate which combined the crankcase, transmission case and frame into one piece resulting in a lighter yet stronger tractor. The engine used removable cylinder sleeves, hemispherical combustion chambers, an oil filter with replaceable filters and advanced materials for the time. The same basic transmission design of the 20/30 served the Model 25 and other Massey tractors finally ending with the Massey Harris 555.

Massey Harris Model 30

Massey Harris Model 30
Massey Harris Model 30
Massey Harris Model 30

The Model 30 replaced the Massey Harris 101 Junior in the tractor lineup in 1946. The Model 30 retained the four cylinder, 162 cubic inch displacement Continental engine model that was used in the Junior 101 and the Twin Power feature, however the rest of the design was brand new.  A new transmission design featured 5 speeds with speeds ranging from 2.5 miles per hour to 13.5 miles per hour.  The tractor could be ordered in standard tread or row crop configuration.

The Continental engine could be set to burn either gas or distillate. The tractor was rated at 21 horsepower at the drawbar and 30 horsepower on the belt when burning gas. The Model 30 was Massey Harris’s three plow tractor in this period.

In a production run that lasted between 1946 and 1953, approximately 30,000 Model 30s were built making the Model 30 second in popularity to the Model 44.

The Manitoba Agricultural Museum has a standard tread Model 30 in the collection.

Massey Harris Model 44

Massey Harris Model 44 - Diesel
Massey Harris Model 44 - Diesel
Massey Harris Model 44 – Diesel

Massey Harris built approximately 84,000 Model 44s in a number of different configurations between 1946 and 1953. Gas, distillate, diesel or LPG engines were offered in standard tread or row crop configurations. The tractor was also offered in orchard and vineyard versions using either gas or diesel engines.

A high altitude version of the 44 was also available however only with a gas engine.  The high altitude engine had a higher compression ratio and a carburetor with smaller jets.

The Massey Harris Model 44, in whatever fuel version purchased, used a 4 cylinder Continental engine of 260 cubic inch displacement.  The gasoline engine version produced 45 horsepower while the diesel version produced approximately 40 horsepower. The diesel engine option was offered in 1948, two years after the introduction of the Model 44.

Massey Harris 44’s can also be found with a six cylinder Continental engine identical to the engine used in the Massey Harris 101 Senior. As Massey Harris had been advertising the smoothness of a six cylinder engine, Massey Harris decided it should offer a six cylinder version of the 44 called the 44-6. As the engine had less power than the 4 cylinder it was not really popular but still sold 6,657 during a production run that lasted between 1947 and 1951. As the six cylinder engine was longer than the four cylinder engine the frame on the 44-6 had to be stretched 2 inches to accommodate the engine.

The Model 44 no matter the engine option chosen used a five speed transmission. The 44 was the first Massey Harris tractor to have live PTO which was operated by a hand clutch. Later production tractors offered a hydraulic lift for mounted implements.

The Model 44 vineyard was much narrower than a standard tread 44 and used a narrowed rear axle that caused significant problems so any 44 Vineyards that were sold, were recalled and scrapped with one exception.

The Museum has both a gas 44 and a diesel 44 in the collection. Both tractors are standard tread versions.

The Massey Harris 44 diesel was donated to the Museum in memory of Keva Kives by Phillip and Ted Kives, Keva’s sons.

Massey Harris Pacemaker PA

Massey Harris - Pacemaker
Massey Harris - Pacemaker
Massey Harris – Pacemaker

As with the Model 25, Massey Harris decided to update the Wallis 12/20 in order to get a few more years out of the Wallis design and avoid making a major outlay for research and design of a new tractor in the Great Depression era of the 1930s.

Wallis had been purchased by Massey Harris in 1928 in order for Massey Harris to become a full line agricultural machinery company. Having a full line to offer farmers was thought to be an advantage at the time. This trend had been started in the early 1900s by IHC which, partially as a result of building and offering for sale every machine likely to be needed by a farmer, was very successful. Other machinery companies realized that they also needed to offer a fairly comprehensive line of machinery in order to keep their customers from going elsewhere to obtain some machine and in doing so, fall into the hands of a competing machinery company.

Massey Harris continued on selling the Wallis line of tractors under the Wallis name into the 1930s. As the Wallis designs were updated, the new production tractors were badged as Massey Harris and a dark green paint scheme with red wheels applied. The Wallis 12/20 was redesigned in the mid 1930s with the resulting Pacemaker PA entering production in 1936. As with the Model 25 the engine speed was increased to 1200 rpm bringing the Pacemaker PA’s rating to 16/27. The Pacemaker PA used a vertical, overhead valve four cylinder engine displacing 248 cubic inches. While the Wallis designed curved boiler plate frame which combined crankcase, transmission case and frame into a one piece unit was retained, the transmission now offered 4 speeds.  Service brakes were also offered. The factory offered either steel wheels or rubber tires as options.

The unstyled Pacemaker PA was built in 1936 and 1937. A styled version of the Pacemaker PA was introduced in late 1937 and was produced until 1939. About 3000 unstyled PAs and 3000 styled PAs were built during the life of the Pacemaker PA.

The styled Pacemaker PA was offered in a standard configuration and the Twin Power configuration.  The standard configuration was mechanically identical to the unstyled Pacemaker PA. The Twin Power version however offered an operators control which increased the governor setting on the engine allowing the engine to achieve 1400 rpm instead of the standard rpm of 1200. This increased the engine’s power output by 10 horsepower. However this control, when increasing the governor setting, also blocked the transmission in neutral. This was done to prevent the increased horsepower from overloading the tractors drive train. The Twin Power option was only useable when the tractor was performing belt work. As with the styled Model 25, the styled Pacemaker PA was painted in a red scheme with straw yellow wheels.

The Pacemaker PA was offered in a row crop configuration with a tricycle front end.  However in the row crop configuration the tractor was called a Challenger Model CH. The three speed transmission of the Wallis 12/20 was retained in the Challenger Model CH but a PTO was offered. A PTO driven, foot activated implement lift was an option that could be ordered. As with the Pacemaker, the Challenger was first built unstyled then offered in a styled version with a red body and yellow wheels. The standard configuration and Twin Power configuration were also offered in the Challenger as well as the choice of steel wheels or rubber tires.