Model: Minneapolis-Moline ZTS
The Minneapolis-Moline ZTS is a standard-tread tractor built in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA. This is a 4-cylinder, liquid cooled petrol tractor. The so-called ‘Prairie Gold’ finish of the tractor against the red grille and wheels made this tractor instantly recognisable.
The ZT series tractors were built from 1939 to 1947 with three model variants:
ZTU was the row crop variant
ZTI was the industrial variant
ZTS is the standard format which is what we have here.
Minneapolis Moline tractors proved to be a very good workhorse. They were reliable, economical, and built to last. A number of these tractors found their way to the UK under the Lease-Lend agreement during the Second World War, the most likely route would have been through Liverpool docks where they were distributed by the British agent, Sale Tilney based in Berkshire.
This MM is believed to have spent much of it’s working life in Scotland, hence the Scottish registration plate. It then moved down to Cheshire, before completing its journey at the opposite extremity of the country, along the Devon Cornwall border.
Remarkably, this MM still maintains its original Dunlop rear tyres. This tractor was incredibly advanced for its time in terms of engine design with individual cylinder blocks and accessory power lift. I find this tractor highly refined and easy to drive, with the ability to reach a pace of 25MPH on the road with little effort. The fact that this tractor has maintained such incredible condition at 84 years old is a credit to the manufacturers and of course its caretakers over the years!
Minneapolis-Moline was formed in 1929 as a merger of three companies. Minneapolis Steel & Machinery which was well known for its Twin City tractors, the Minneapolis Threshing Company which also produced Minneapolis tractors, and Moline Plow Company.
The company changed hands several times and the Minneapolis-Moline brand name was dropped by White in 1974, six years before White folded. The Hopkins headquarters site has now been redeveloped, housing a Honda car dealership whilst the Minneapolis Hiawatha Avenue site has been developed to accommodate a shopping mall.
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