Trucks & Heavy Equipment | 23 March 2017Rare Tractors: 1938 Avery Ro-Trak Share article facebook twitter google pinterest It’s funny how history treats mechanical rarities. What makes a brand or model rare in the first place is that, for whatever reason, not many were ever even made. Yet at that time they were no more valuable than the most popular machines, in many cases even less so. And usually the folks who bought them didn’t care much about maintaining and keeping the “odd duck” car, motorcycle, boat or tractor for the long-term. So decades, or even a century later, collectors of vehicles take a special interest in the ones that are now extremely hard to find. From the book The Tractor Factor: The World’s Rarest Classic Farm Tractors is a look at one tractor brand and model we imagine you have never seen before. The Ro-Trak was a two-plow tractor driven by a Hercules six-cylinder engine. The unique convertible front end feature never caught on with farmers. 1938 Avery Ro-Trak There were two Avery tractor companies: B. F. Avery & Sons in Louisville, Kentucky, and the Avery Company in Peoria, Illinois. Both had a long history in the agricultural equipment industry. The Peoria company, however, produced a unique tractor from 1938 to 1941: the Avery Ro-Trak. The Ro-Trak was readily convertible from wide-front to tricycle configuration, without the necessity of readjusting wheel alignment. You could simply lift the front, pulling pins and swinging the front wheel castings in or out, for tread widths of 10 inches to 60 inches. The vertical castings contained coil springs that allowed the front wheels to go over bumps without twisting the frame. The Ro-Trak was not tested at the University of Nebraska but was rated for up to three 14-inch plow bottoms. The company used a Hercules six-cylinder L-head engine of 212 ci. A three-speed transmission gave 16 mph in top gear. Electric starting was standard, but lights and a belt pulley were optional. The Ro-Trak weighed 4,000 pounds. It is not known how many Ro-Traks were made, but enough, apparently, to keep the company afloat until the start of World War II, when it folded. The feature of the Ro-Trak was that it was readily convertible from wide-tread to tricycle configurations. Otherwise, it was a conventional tractor. Buy from an Online Retailer With tractor historian Robert N. Pripps, take a close look at some of the most collectible vintage tractors from the United States, the UK, Germany, Holland, France, and other countries. Vintage farm tractors are revered throughout the world as the source of mechanical labor, allowing the revolution of farming to take place in the twentieth century. Some of the most interesting tractors are also the rarest, since they were produced in very small quantities. These include one-of-a-kind modified models; very, very old machines; and models produced by one of the many companies that made tractors for only a short time. The Tractor Factor is a richly illustrated book that reveals what makes a tractor collectible, showcases the rarest models, gives a history of the marque, and details specific finds. Robert N. Pripps, a leading tractor historian, covers models from the United States, the UK, Germany, Holland, France, and other countries. Pripps’ expertise, paired with the stunning photography of Ralph W. Sanders and Andrew Morland, makes The Tractor Factor a book no fan of these paradigm-changing machines will want to miss! Share article facebook twitter google pinterest If you have any comments on this article please contact us or get in touch via social media.