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This tractor was king of the hill, once upon a time

Tom J. Bechman Oliver 99 tractor
TOP OF THE LINE: The Oliver 99 was the big brother of them all. Other models in the lineup at the time were the 66, 77 and 88.
Tractor Treasures: The Oliver 99 was built for pulling large tillage tools.

Oliver Corp. debuted its second series in the mid-20th century with the 66, 77 and 88 models. That lineup of tractors, which became popular among Oliver owners and included variations, featured a big brother you don’t hear as much about. But if you were looking for as much power as you could get to pull a big plow or wide disk, and you were an Oliver enthusiast, you likely inquired about the Oliver 99. This model was produced even before the more famous 66, 77 and 88 models were made.

Jim Call, Putnam County, Ind., owns this beautifully restored Oliver 99 tractor. He displayed it at the Putnam County Antique Tractor and Machinery Association’s first annual show in September, held at the Putnam County Fairgrounds in Greencastle, Ind. He also brought along several Massey-Harris models, plus an older Hart-Parr tractor.

According to, the Oliver 99 was built from 1937 until 1953. It was a five-bottom plow tractor with standard tread, designed for doing the toughest jobs. It tested at just over 52 hp at the drawbar and could produce 62 hp on a belt-driven implement. A big tractor for its day, the gas tank held 34 gallons.

Three different engines were used in the Oliver 99 during its lifespan: a four-cylinder Oliver 7.3-liter engine and two six-cylinder engines. One was a Waukesha-Oliver 4.9-liter gas engine, and the other was a Waukesha-Oliver 4.9-liter diesel engine.

The model 99 didn’t come with a cab. It featured an open operator station instead. It came from the factory with manual steering and used a four-speed transmission.

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