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Digital Subscriptions > Diesel World > July 2019 > THE LITTLEST OLLIES

THE LITTLEST OLLIES

OLIVER 1550 AND 1555

OK, the 1550 was the second-smallest domestically built Oliver in the mid-1960s, but the 1555 was the smallest domestically built Oliver in the first half of the ‘70s. The funny thing is, they weren’t really “small” tractors at all.

What’s interesting to note is that the 1550 was a direct descendant of one of Oliver’s most popular tractors, the 77 and Super 77 series, which had been built from 1948 to ‘58 before evolving into the 770 in ‘58. Even more fascinating is that the similar 77 and 88 series tractors had once been Oliver’s “big” tractors, but by the time the 1550 debuted for 1966, it had moved to the opposite end of the line—and it was still a six-cylinder tractor, no less!

Starting in 1960, the White Motor Company began buying ag product manufacturers. Oliver was the first and became the cornerstone of a new ag manufacturing powerhouse. White soon acquired Cockshutt and Minneapolis-Moline and began centralizing and homogenizing the technology while maintaining the brands. By the time the 1550 came around, the smallest Olivers were now coming from overseas—first from David Brown in England and later from Fiat of Italy.

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