Wilmac Garden Tractors
This page is devoted to what seems to be an incredibly rare little Canadian made garden tractor, the Wilmac. As of right now, we know of four of these little tractors, two of which we currently own. Let me first start off by saying that I have only a little information on these tractors, and am still trying to piece things together. If you have any information on these little tractors, or know where another one is, I would greatly appreciate any and all information so that I can continue to put together a history of these little tractors. Here is what I have so far. I will be adding more to this as I discover it, and what I do already have may change as I put together more pieces of information.
First, this story came from a couple of older gentlemen who talked to a previous owner of one of these tractors at a show. The previous owner had no idea who the gentlemen were or how they knew what they knew. Anyway, they said that the garden tractors are called Wilmac garden tractors, designed and made by two engineers in the Leamington/Windsor area. The engineers' names were Williams and MacPherson, and the one engineer worked for the Ford Motor Company in Windsor, Ontario, while the other engineer worked for H.J. Heinz in Leamington, Ontario. As to who was responsible for what in the creation of these tractors, I do not know. I'm wondering if the name of the tractors, Wilmac, was created as a combination of the two engineers' last names.
While we own two of these little tractors, there is also one currently residing in Ohio, but it too originally came from the Windsor area. The fourth Wilmac that we know of currently resides in northern Ontario, but it too came from the Windsor area.
The Novo model DA air cooled engines date from around 1947. It appears that these Wilmac garden tractors borrowed very heavily from the Speedex model B tractor. Some of the parts are very similar, if not identical (e,g, the front rims, axle, etc.), to the parts from a Speedex model B. The design of the Wilmac also seems very heavily influenced by the design of a Speedex model B.
Thanks to one of the Wilmac owners who very kindly pointed me to these ads, we just recently came across an ad that was published in 1948. The two ads are identical, and one was run in the Flesherton Advance on June 30, 1948, while the other was run in the Orono Weekly Times on July 1, 1948. They confirm that the Wilmac is indeed the name of these tractors, that they were made in Windsor, Ontario, that they were being sold certainly in 1948 in the very least, and that they originally sold for $595 in 1948. It does also give us some more information about the tractors themselves, and also some more leads in terms of where to go next to find more information, to continue to piece together this story. Here's the ad itself, and you can click on it to view and/or download the PDF version.
Here are some pictures of the two Wilmacs that we own, as found. I will be posting more and better pictures of these two tractors in the near future, as we have begun working on them and will have them ready to show this coming spring. The one tractor, the grey/green coloured one, is in great shape and pretty much original. The other one, the one painted John Deere green and yellow, will require more work, but is actually in good shape. The home made hood and brackets have already been removed and new, proper tires have been put on the back. New pictures of it will be posted soon as it journeys to a state more closely resembling what it was originally. The other two tractors belong to two other people who kindly gave me permission to post pictures of their tractors.