The first combine my dad ever owned was a New Holland 980 with a gas engine. This was in the early 1970's. I can't seem to find any pictures of this particular combine at home or on the internet. Does anyone have any info or pictures of this machine?
Sam, the Models 980 and 990 were first imported to the US in 1966 by New Holland, about the time Sperry Corp, a large, multi-faceted conglomerate bought NH. If you can, find out just when the Sperry acquistion took place, too. Some of those first NH's were all-yellow. I saw an odd, solid yellow 980, in 1976, during a family vacation trip through west Oklahoma, during wheat harvest season. Most 980 and 990 here were the familiar NH red with bright yellow points which made them rather gaudy as combines go.
As far as New Holland "never building combines," look at the later conventionals. Sperry left NH in the mid-1970s, and New Holland was a stand-alone and growing corporation, with very strong interest in Europe, eventually taking over the Claeys [Clayson] name. Yes, the Euro bines were born under the full New Holland name.
The Twin Rotors were the first all-American-made New Holland combines. Originally built in Lexington, Nebraska, not Grand Island or even New Holland, PA, as some may think. Only one started, the TR 70, and it was more of a "prototype" in most people's eyes just due to its own oddityand uniqueness--the world's first first commercially-successful "rotary" combine. I can still remember some farmers and mechanics asking if that thing really had a Wankel engine. LOL! THAT was the definition of "rotary" back in the early 1970's.
Really, Sam? I honestly do not even remember seeing the Sperry name on the newer TR brochures. It may have been a part of the company, but just not advertised as much. We had a New Holland branch office in Arlington, TX and I remember seeing the removal of the Sperry logo from the building before I left Texas, in 1986.Maybe a storm destroyed part of the sign?
The TR's were rather a hybrid design, built of course, around the heart of the system, the rotors. I always thought the TR's were not only gaudy by color, but delightfully still "combine-shaped," unlike the new, boxy styles of the A-F, rotary Gleaner and White 9700.
Another thing to think about IH Development code CX11 was a Twin Rotor Corn Harvester that incorporated 2 cage type shellers from the 234 corn harvester. But after the Patents were filed for the Axial Flow 1 of the 3 engineers left IH to become the lead engineer for the TR 70. So IH sued NH over the engineers role which was settled out of court with a modest settlement for IH which delayed the intro of the TR
I have a collection of New Holland Combine literature. All of this talk has caused me to get it out and look at the literature and pictures. My first brochure printed in 1976 is Sperry New Holland TR70 in all of the text but the pictures of the combine only say New Holland TR70. All of my TR70 literature from several years are like this. My literature printed in March 1980 shows the Sperry New Holland combines but the combine pictures only say New Holland TR75, TR85, & TR95. My literature printed in November 1984 says Sperry New Holland but the combine pictures only say New Holland TR76, TR86, & TR96. My literature printed in March 1985 only says New Holland TR86 & TR96. Both the Sperry name and the TR76 is gone. My literature printed in January 1987 says Ford New Holland but the combine pictures only say New Holland TR86 & TR96. The next change is the 1994 literature (no month given) which is the Ford New Holland TR87 & TR97 but the combine pictures only say New Holland TR87 & TR97. The 1995 literature only says New Holland TR87 & TR97. The Ford name is no longer listed in the literature. My 1996 literature shows the New Holland TR88 & TR98. My 1998 literature says New Holland TR89 & TR99. In summary the literature uses names like Sperry New Holland, Ford New Holland, and New Holland but the combine pictures do not show the names Sperry or Ford, only the name New Holland appears on the combines. I find this old literature interesting to see the changes made in the New Holland Combines over the years.