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Wheelhorse at Studebaker Museum

4339 Views 7 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  steddy
I recently visited the Studebaker museum in South Bend, IN. I was surprised to see a few old Wheelhorse tractors in there. I wasn't sure where they were made before. Here are a few shots. I think the newer one was one of the last "real" Wheelhorse tractor made.


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There used to be a bunch of WH things at the Stude museum but I'm pretty sure you got pictures of all that is left. When Toro shuttered the plant in ~93 the collection of vintage stuff they had accumulated went to the museum for display. There it sat for about 10 years until Toro finally got around to moving it to Minneapolis for storage.

I got to see the things they had up in the attic about 9 years ago and they apparently would put a few pieces on display from time to time as part of their "made in South Bend" displays. For obvious reasons these items aren't the primary focus of the place.

The largest/newest tractor in your photos is a 1986 420-LSE (limited special edition). It has a bunch of chrome and leather and only 200 were made. If I remember correctly, that particular tractor is owned by the city of SB and is brand new with zero hours on the clock. I've inquired about buying it before but the answer has always been the same.

The 420 certainly was a "real" WH but definately not one of the last. Toro finally discontinued the line in 2007 after keeping it alive for a long time. For all practical purposes the "classic" design had been in production for well over 30 years (or longer depending on your perspective) and had far outlived anyone's expectations.

Thanks for sharing the photos! Tractors not withstanding, the Studebaker National Museum is really a neat place and has vehicles from the Studebaker company from the 1960's way back to the mid 1800's. Studebaker really had some neat vehicles and some interesting styling cues thru the years. If you're in SB I recommend a visit just to gawk at the Studebakers, Packards, and other things they have.

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