It seems the internal combustion archaeologists have discovered the missing link between the horse and tractor, if this 1940 Power Horse is any indication. You see, many farmers had a large investment in horse drawn implements like plows and discs, but along came the internal combustion engine and tractors were invented. Any forward looking farmer wanted to get on board, but then, after buying a tractor, he would need to buy new implements designed for tractor power. What about just replacing the horse and using the existing horse drawn equipment, sitting on the implement and steering a machine with reins as you would with old Nellie? The farmer saves money and eliminates stable duty at the same time. At least, that's what this Power Horse was designed to do and it's a unique answer to a question someone must have asked.
Truth be told, I've never seen or heard of these before. It looked, at first glance, like half a tractor, but then, that's pretty much what it is. The seller's description is interesting:
Built in Clinton, Utah and later in Salt Lake City Utah the Power Horse used the Model B Allis Chalmers power plant, gas tank, sheet metal, and transmission mated to a proprietary fixed four wheel drive system that operates just like modern tractors today. In fact, the Power Horse Patent for its fixed four wheel drive was purchased by EIMCO and was later the inspiration for the Bobcat Tractor.
According to the seller, only 50 still exist, 20 are still running and perhaps 10 are restored, or thereabouts, but it's probably safe to say they were never a huge seller. I think it's an interesting indication of the thinking early on as horses were gradually replaced, and it's a fascinating machine in its own right.
If farming implements are on your radar, this 1940 Power Horse is for sale on eBay.