In Reply to: Re: Still more info . . . posted by Ken(Ark) on February 18, 2009 at 17:22:05:
Another post to be added to the funk history .
RJ Posted 09-01-2007 at 23:30:16 [URL] [DELETE] [Reply] [No Email]
Re: Funk fords C/P
The Story behind the Funk Manufacturing Company (8N Conversion)
When Ford made the 9N and 2N tractors, most of the farmers wanted more horsepower to pull the 3-bottom plow instead of the standard 2-bottom plow. As a result, the 8N series was manufactured in 1947 with more HP. Still the farmers claimed that it was not enough.
A man named Ollie Glover of Glover Equipment Company in Milford, IL started talking to the Ford Motor Company about a larger HP engine. Mr. Glover had a number of farmers in Illinois, Iowa & Indiana that needed the larger tractor-plowing power.
Mr. Glover had been associated with Howard C. Funk and Joe C. Funk during their days in Akron, OH when the Funk Brothers owned the Funk Aircraft Company. Funk Aircraft has encountered some hard times and subsequently was forced to close. Howard and Joe Funk moved to South Coffeyville, OK in 1941 and started the Funk Manufacturing Company for the purpose of building an airplane that the Funk brothers and Bernard Wade had designed, developed & produced prior to WWII. During the war, production of aircraft was discontinued and the company devoted its efforts to manufacturing parts for gun directors for one of the local contractors.
After the war, production of aircraft resumed. In 1947, the sale of aircraft dropped off and in 1948 the company discontinued manufacturing airplanes. During the latter part of 1948, after the 8N series tractor had begun being sold by local dealers, the farmers insisted that a larger HP engine was required. Ollie Glover, still involved in the struggle to get a larger engine for the farmers, contacted the Funk brothers for the purpose of making a conversion kit to adapt the Ford 95HP 6-cylinder engine.
Funk Manufacturing Company engineered parts to adapt to the original 8N tractor
(changes to the rail bars for support, a spacer between the engine and transmission, extending the radius arms, new air cleaner pipe, etc.) Glover Equipment made an agreement to trade radiators for the kits and negotiated for exclusive rights to the territory east of the Mississippi River.
During the preliminary stages of selling the conversion kits, Joe Funk made a trip to Dearborn to discuss with Ford the details of his product. Ford Motor Company was not very pleased with the modification to its original design and a possibility of a lawsuit against Funk was discussed. In the best interest of Ford, its dealers and the farming community this notion was shelved.
In search of a more powerful tractor to meet current demands, Ford engineers made plans to review its current 8N design and subsequently discontinued the 8N in 1952. This also resulted in the end of the conversion kit production for the 8N tractors. The records show that 6,180 6-cylinder kits were made and 140 V8 kits were supplied to the dealers. Funk Aircraft Company, (Coffeyville) was destroyed by a fire in October 1954. In early 1955, production started again in the old paint shop. In 1956, Funk had acquired the necessary capital to construct a new building about 2 miles north of the previous location.
If you are ever traveling near Coffeyville, KS, stop by the old airport and take a tour of the Funk Museum. You will see an original Ford/Funk V8. In the hanger is the first Funk Aircraft (The “BREASEEY”) that was built.
Mr. Joe Funk had asked me to forward this story to all of the Ford/Funk 8N Owners. He and his brother, Howard, never thought their Funk conversions would have ever become collectible items. He mentioned that he would like to be able to talk to each one of you about the conversions. Joe is 90 years old and lives down the street from me. His brother Howard died several years ago, however several of the original employees are still alive. Funk Manufacturing Company was sold to Gardner-Denver – then to Cooper Industries – then to John Deere, which still owns rights to the name of Funk Manufacturing Company.
Posting not permitted in the forum archives.