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TAS Country : November 25th 2010
Friday, November 26, 2010 Tasmanian Country 13 POWER POINT: A Comfort King engine. Classic case of durability MODERN CLASSIC: The ever-reliable Comfort King. TRAGIC Tractor Glenn Shaw This week we conclude the story of the J.I. Case Company's search for a tractor that provides both power and fuel efficiency, a quest that produced the Comfort King CASE engineers would try to keep the 930 up with the high-horsepower competition by taking the engine speed up to 1800 revs per minute, which finally broke through the 100 horsepower barrier at the engine flywheel, but tested at about 85 belt pulley horsepower. Impressive figures, even more so when you consider that it was still being delivered through that amazingly strong chain final-drive rear end. However, the end was drawing closer for the production run of these powerful old drive-trains. The final Case 930 Comfort King could be had with a set-back front axle and square flat-top rear mudguards now painted in the same desert sand colour as the bonnet. Known as a ''western special'', these were the last of a truly great tractor line and were given the model code 932 (''9'' for tractor series, ''3'' for diesel and ''2'' for special build). By 1966, the 930 was no longer the biggest tractor in the Case line-up. A tractor known as the model 1030 was released with a 451 cubic inch six-cylinder engine that took Case up into the 100 belt horsepower league, but mated up to the carried-over all-gear-drive transmission. If the 401 cubic inch diesel from the 930 was testing that particular transmission in the row crop variants, you can imagine what the extra grunt from 451 cubic inches was going to do to it! At the time of the model 1030 Comfort King introduction, Case had been taking the operating speeds of the big six-cylinder engines to their limits in trying to raise horsepower levels with minimum expenditure, and the bigger- displacement 451 cubic inch engine was a much-needed power plant to keep pace. As it turned out, this new engine would also give years of service, just as the previous diesel engines had done since 1953. With oil company Tenneco taking over J.I. Case, new funds were injected into the ailing tractor builder to give it a new lease of life and develop a new tractor line, complete with power-shifting transmissions to better handle the power of that big 451 cubic inch engine first introduced in the model 1030 Comfort King. By 1969 a new age had dawned on the Case Company. Gone was the famous ''Old Abe'' bald eagle company mascot, replaced by the ''CASE'' name styled in a way similar to a tractor tyre tread imprint. The chain-drive transmission and hand clutch, dating back to 1929, were also consigned to history. Gone too was the great line of Comfort Kings, to be replaced by a new range of series 70 ''Agri-King'' tractors. While modern technology had seen the Comfort King range replaced, they were certainly not forgotten. Often seen as the last build of a real ''traditional'' Case tractor, the 930 Comfort Kings are a true modern classic. While the older 500, 600 and 900 diesels are generally considered as collectors' items by the vintage tractor movement, the 930 series can still be found hard at work on a number of mainland wheat farms. I was lucky enough to be travelling on the mainland a few years ago during seeding time and found it rewarding to see a number of Comfort King tractors hard at work in areas such as Wedderburn in Victoria and Keith in South Australia. Such tractors are still economical to work and very capable machines -- if a little slower than the modern high-horsepower machines. However, considering the repayments on a new tractor, that's a small price to pay! By the time such machines are ready to retire, I might be lucky enough to find one to add to my tractor line-up. I'll certainly be keeping any of the big Case diesels on my wish list because they are all worthy of any tractor enthusiast's collection. Feature article ANZ Australia s best value agribusiness bank. As awarded by CANSTAR CANNEX 2009 and 2010. Financial Services Research Group CANSTAR CANNEX compared 15 major agribusiness banks, credit unions and building societies to determine the bank that o ered the best value to agribusiness. Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ) ABN 11 005 357 522. ANZ s colour blue is a trade mark o ANZ. Commitment is vital in a successful relationship. In business, it s more important than ever. That s why we ve just put on over 100 more ANZ Agribusiness Managers and Assistant Managers throughout the whole country. It s their job to work alongside you, ensuring your business not only runs smoothly, but grows over the long term. So whether it s at your o ce, your property or over the phone, make an appointment with an ANZ Agribusiness Manager today. Visit anz.com/agri or call 1800 462 474 today. e ve put on over 100 more ANZ Agribusiness bankers because we re committed to your business.
November 18th 2010
December 2nd 2010