|What is a Haas Tractor?|
|The following text is an article appearing in the May/June 1996 issue of Belt Pulley Magazine. It was written by Ed Speiss.|
|Haas Tractor Club Home|
|Many people have never heard of a Haas tractor, let alone ever seen one. Admittedly, they are very elusive, with just a few in collections. Metal Parts Corporation was just one of many companies that produced tractors like the Haas during the post war machinery shortage.
Ed Haas founded the Metal Parts Corporation on June 8, 1939 primarily for machining replacement aluminum heads and parts. Due to the shortage of materals he soon had an aluminum foundry making various aluminum castings. Upon the outbreak of WW II they pursued the aluminum cylinder head field and were awarded contracts from Continential Motors, Muskegon, Michigan, and Warner Aircraft Corporation of Detroit. So that they could maintain these orders, additional space was added to the plant, bringing the factory of 60,000 sq. ft.
Ed Haas had many ties to the farm equipment industry. His companies had produced castings for International Harvester, Allis Chalmers, Case, Massey Harris, and Fairbanks Morse. Haas claimed in early sales literature that his experience with tractor, automotive, and airplane engines qualified him to be a more than competent engineer and designer.
Mr. Haas was appointed by the War Dept. to the National Board of Aluminum Air Cooled Cylinder Head Production on which he served throughout its existence. At this time a contract was negotiated with Packard Motors Corporation for production on an intricate 38-pound aluminum casting to be used on the famous P51 Mustang fighter plane, then in use by the Air Force. Production of this item ran until the end of the war when the plant employed about 200 people.
After WW II until the Korean conflict, Metal Parts Corporation filled the needs of various firms in the Midwest, primarily in the Chicago area. Metal Parts Corporation then started to produce a cookware line including bacon grills, aluminum skillets, deep fryers, electric hot plates, table griddles, electric mixers, and electric skillets all marketed under the registered trade name "Star Glow."
During the war years the firm prospered and Mr. Haas started several new firms including the Haas Foundry for grey iron. The Haas Mold Company purchased the Dunnebacke Company to form the new Haas Coal & Dock Company. A newspaper clipping also shows Ed Haas to be a managing partner of Red Top Farms of Racine. Mr. Haas was an astute businessman and a leader in his community. In August of 1986 Mr. Haas, a life member of the Knights of Columbus, donated 1.35 acres of land from one of his commerical holdings for a building and meeting hall at 13249 Washington, Sturdevant, Wisconsin.
Sometime in the late 40's Metal Parts Corporation decided to enter the farm tractor market. Demand was very high at this time and the major farm equipment manufacturers could not produce enough supply to meet this need. The company's first mention in trade journals appeared in 1949 when Haas introduced his Model A-B.
Three models of tractors were produced by the Metal Parts Corporation of Racine, Wisconsin in total. The Model "A" or Haas "Atomic" was a simple one plow tractor produced using a Haas Model 6-12 air cooled airplane type engine. Closely following was the Haas Model "B, " which was identical as far as research has determined, but had two transmissions.
The Model A and B were listed together on the same pieces of sales literature and the added feature of the second transmission gave the Model B twice the amount of gears to choose from, 6 forward and 2 reverse. This made the weight of the tractor 100 pounds heavier at 1700. It listed maximum drawbar horsepower at 10.1. An adjustable axle, pulley drive, swinging drawbar, starter, and generator were all factory options.
As mentioned earlier, Haas used their own little 12.5 HP air cooled engine to power this little tractor. Fpr the thrifty farmer, there was even a kerosene attachment for this little engine. As with most other tractors of the sort, they were assembled using many off the shelf parts from large O.E.M. manufacturers. A Borg Warner transmission and Ross steering gear were just a couple of the many parts suppliers.
A complete line of implements was made for the little Haas Atomic as is was sometimes called. A plow disc, bulldozer blade, planter, and harrow were all offered to the Atomic owner.
|The Haas Model B Tractor.
This tractor was on display at the Badger Steam and Gas Engine Show in Baraboo, Wisconsin in August 2002.
|Actually, less information seems to be available for the big tractor of the Haas line. The Model "D" was a larger tractor weighing in a almost 3000 pounds and using the Continental F-400 series Red Seal engine. These engines were widely used throughout the agricultural industry in several other tractors. The 140 cubic inch engine was installed in gasoline burning models and the 162 cubic inch was used for kerosene burning users.
The kerosene fuel option may sound a bit odd for the late 40's and early 50's when gasoline was becoming the norm. Mr. Haas related though, that there was a very strong export market for the tractors. In fact, the Haas family has a picture of the Model D that was shipped to an Asian mission that is pulling a cart which held the Pope on a visit to the area. Not many tractor companies can lay claim to that!
Metal Parts Corporation also used many aftermarket parts to manufacture the Model D. Of course the Continental engine, as previously mentioned, Ross steering gear, Rockford clutch, and Clark and B.F. Avery rear ends all made the Model D. It also had a 3-point hitch with a lifiting capacity of 1500 pounds which was an option many of the bigger competitors did not offer.
|The Haas Model D tractor. This particular tractor is owned by Bob and Doris Haas of Roanoke, Illinois.|