The Half Size “GP”

Of all the tractors putting, purring or chugging their way across the show grounds at the 2018 Eastern National Expo in Wooster, Ohio, the one that may have drawn the most looks was the half size “GP” built by John Bricker.

Engine side detail showing the flywheel with fabricated insert.

John says he grew up hanging around his father’s welding shop, and by the looks of the detail in the “GP,” it looks like he learned quite a bit back then, as did his brother Ben, who built a 70 standard, and brother Tim, who built an unstyled “G.”

Ben Bricker built this 70 standard. 

This unstyled “G” was built by Tim Bricker.

The little “GP” is powered by an early 1940s’ Novo engine with a bore and stroke of 3-1/2 inch by 4 inch. It was laid down and the manifolds were adjusted accordingly. The flywheel was cut down and an insert added to give it that “GP” look.

Can you believe that the steering gear box was pounded out of steel?

The main case was fabricated from steel as were an astonishing number of other components that look like castings, but are not, even the gear box for the steering. How does power transfer from the engine to the wheels? Well, a magician never gives away his secrets, but let’s just say it does have chain final drives just like the real thing. The wheels were also built from scratch, the hubs in a lathe.

Transmission case covers, seat, steering wheel, shift quadrant–so much to build!

How long did it take to build such a masterpiece? Only about nine months, but the Chambersburg, Pennsylvania man said that he worked on it evenings, weekends, vacations and went to his job at a food processing plant “just enough to not get fired.”

From the front, you can hardly tell the scale model from the real thing.

John also built this spreader. He says it comes in handy to haul his chairs, cooler and other show goods in from the parking lot.