You are here
Gibson's Grand Horses
Gibson Manufacturing traces its roots back to Wilber Gibson who founded the firm in 1946 establishing a manufacturing plant in Longmont, Colorado. What was unique about the early Gibson garden tractors is that they utilized lever steering. Pushing a single lever ahead turned the garden tractor to the left while the opposite direction was obtained by pulling the lever back.
Production of Gibson tractors came to a standstill in 1958 and ceased to exist. Still, for the short time that Gibson tractors were in production they had an impact on agriculture with an estimated 60,000-plus models built and sold both in North America as well as 26 foreign countries.
The first production tractor of Gibson, the Model A, was powered with a 6 horsepower Wisconsin Model AEH engine that worked with a three-speed transmission. Equipment included two independent rear wheel brakes. The 875-pound tractor was sold with a wide range of implements and was rated by its manufacturer to be able to pull a 13-inch single-bottom plow.
The successor to the Model A was the Model D that featured adjustable (33 to 53 inch) rear tread. Weighing in at 955 pounds, the D was first offered with 22-inch rear tires that were later upgraded to 24-inch tires. The rear rims were adjustable (from 33 to 53 inches). Power came from a 6 horsepower Wisconsin Model AEH engine that worked with a three-speed transmission.
The Gibson SD brought styling to the tractor line featuring fenders, a hood and front grill. Original SDs employed the Gibson lever-steering system. The 1,065-pound tractor was powered by a 5 horsepower Wisconsin single-cylinder air-cooled engine. Power was transferred through a system employing four V-belts to a transmission.
The Super D introduced the steering wheel design but kept most of the other features of the 'SD' including the AEH engine, hood, grill, and fenders. Electrical and hydraulic systems were optional and added to its 1105-pound weight.
The predecessor to the Model Super D, the Super D2 continued to use the 12 horsepower Wisconsin Model TF two-cylinder engine. Power was transferred to a three-speed (2 to 7 mph) transmission through a combination of four V-belts and a chain drive. Weighing in at 1,375 pounds, the Super D2 ran on a 52-inch wheels upon 4.00x12-inch front tires and 7, 8 or 9.00x24-inch rear rubber.
The Gibson model E-series tractor consisted of the E, EF, EW and an EWF. The E and EW were row crop tractors. The EF came with a wide front axle. The EWF offered a wide 84-inch tread. The tractor variation in the picture is a Model E high-crop version that was sold to work in tobacco fields. Power came from a Wisconsin Model EF, two-cylinder engine with a 31/2x31/4-inch bore-and-stroke.
Rated at 24 horsepower by its manufacturer, the Model H was Gibson’s first full-sized tractor. Equipped with a Hercules Model 1XB Hercules four-cylinder (3 1/4x4-inch bore and stroke) engine. Power was put to work through a four-speed sliding-gear transmission that offered speeds from 2 to 131/2 mph.
Introduced in 1949, the Model T offered 40 belt horsepower generated through a Hercules Model ZXD six-cylinder engine. Weighing in at around 4,000-pounds, there was a 40-belt horsepower six cylinder ZXD Hercules engine model. Rated as a two to three plow unit, it had a 94' wheelbase and sat on 5.50 x 16 fronts and 10 x 38 rears
The largest Gibson tractor built, the Model I, was powered by a Hercules Model QXD-5, L-head six-cylinder engine with a 3 7/16 x 4 1/8-inch bore-and-stroke rated at 40 horsepower. Power was transferred through a four-speed transmission.
Here is a collection of Gibson tractors. (text by Dave Mowitz)