1916 Samson Sieve Grip model S25 3 wheel tractor
At MVFM we have a 1916 Samson Sieve Grip model S25 3 wheel tractor. These tractors were produced by a company in California called the Samson Iron Works which later changed their name in 1917 to the Samson Tractor Company. In the Same year General Motors under the leadership of William Durant purchased the company to enter the market to sell farm tractors. This was done as part of GMC’s running battle with the Ford Motor Company and specifically to compete against the highly successful Fordson Model F tractor. Although slightly more expensive than the Fordson it had a more powerful engine and several other improvements. The tractor originally sold for $650.00 but was unprofitable for GM to sell them at that price and so the price was increased to $840.00 which was more expensive than the Fordson F Model. In 1923 after incurring losses of over $25 million General Motors scrapped the idea of producing Farm Tractors.
However a few of these tractors found their way to NZ and at some point Mr. H J Lucas of Dillons Point Road bought this Samson Sieve Grip which he called “Gertie”. While using Gertie to tow an implement, possibly a plough or something similar he reached behind himself to make an adjustment. The clutch on this type of tractor was a cone clutch which was known to be quite viscous. In his attempt to adjust the implement his foot slipped off the clutch and the tractor reared up and moved forward which caused Mr. Lucas to fall off the back of it. The implement, still attached to the tractor, ran him over, broke both legs and carried on across the paddock until it finally came to rest against a large macrocarpa tree where it stayed for 25 years. Members of MVFM rescued it from the same paddock and tree in 1971 before restoring it and putting it on display at Brayshaw Park.