Roy Roberson's

1933 Chevy 1.5-Ton converted to homemade tractor in 1948
The Doodlebug Tractor

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22 May 2006

Sent to us from KCMongo for Roy:

          Hi. In July 2005 I went with my brother Carl to look at a 40-year collection of towing impounds that were being sold. Among this was a homemade tractor. The owner at first didn't want to sell it because his Dad built it. We talked about other vehicles for awhile and when I asked again, he priced it. He said he always planned on getting it running again and pulling his grandchildren with it in a local parade, but it didn't look like it was going to happen.

          Now to the details. The Doodlebug was built by John "Jr" Langford in 1948. Checking the cowl serial number on the internet reveals the bodywork came from a 1933 Chevrolet 1.5-ton dual wheel truck built in Kansas City, MO. Mr. Langford's farm is located about 175 miles due south of KC.

          The frame came with a factory fish plate riveted to the side, slang for a reinforcement, so I think the frame may be from a heavier truck. The rear axle is a 2-speed GMC (unknown year) that has the 5 lug pattern that is very common to Dodge and Ford trucks. (The GMC carries the load on the hub, as the face is flat instead of dished where the lugnuts seat.) The 2-speed was welded in low range after Dad caught John and his brother conducting speed trials on the road. The front axle was changed to a 1/2-ton to utilize cheaper tires. The original 6 was replaced (after the block froze and cracked) with a 216 out of a 1953 sedan delivery which still remained on the property at the time of purchase.

          My goal is to get it operable while leaving it as original as possible, and hopefully for John to drive it in that parade with his grandchildren.

Roy Roberson
Hillbilly Machine Shop ~~ We do precision guesswork
"Doodlebug Tractor"
Bolter # 8330
Ozark Mountains, Southwest Missouri

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