Funky Fuel Fiat Farmin’: 1972 Oliver 1365

If you were “born in a barn”, as your mom used to say when you left the door open, or if you just grew up on a farm, you know Oliver tractors. This 1972 Oliver 1365 Diesel is listed on eBay for $3,500 or make an offer. This unusual tractor is located in Goldsboro, North Carolina. This one has an Italian heart with an American soul.

Oliver Farm Equipment Company was born in 1929 with the amalgamation of four companies: Oliver Chilled Plow Company, Hart-Parr Tractor Company, the American Seeding Machine Company, and Nichols and Shepard Company. The company continued to merge with and acquire other companies until being acquired by White Motor Corporation in 1960.

In the early-1960s, White also acquired Canadian maker Cockshutt and a line near and dear to my heart, Minneapolis Moline. In 1969, White formed the Oliver Farm Equipment Company and “badge-engineered” tractors were sold under the company’s different names but were virtually the same exact thing other than paint color and the names. This particular tractor is also unusual in that Fiat made the 3.5L, 211 cubic-inch four-cylinder diesel engine with 65 hp. No, really! White was truly a global company much like vehicle makers are today.

The Oliver 1365 was sold from 1971 to 1975 and was also branded as the White 1365 in Canada and the Minneapolis Moline G-450. This Oliver 1365 is “mechanically sound and runs good”, according to the seller. These are medium-sized tractors and are handsome in their own right, but they’re a long way from the fantastic, stylized designs of the early Olivers that are probably my personal favorite tractor “design” of all time. But, then there are the Minneapolis Molines; too many tractors, too little time (and money). Do any of you remember this era of tractors by Oliver? Did you know that the diesel was from Fiat? What do you think is the best tractor design of all time?

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Comments

  1. Howard A Member

    Quite frankly, I’m disillusioned. I never thought I’d hear the word Oliver and Fiat in the same sentence. You’d think red, white, and blue drain oil would come out of the motor. Oliver always seemed All- American to me. I’m sure it’s very capable, I mean, they have to plow fields in Italy. I too am a fan of the older Olivers, but didn’t know the history. The farm I’m at now has a Leyland, medium size, like this, awful tractor, I don’t care for it, he also has a Ford 8N ( that his grandfather bought new in 1949) but too small for real work, although, I’m sure many 8N’s did work hard. He also has an Allis D17 gas, also medium size. I like that tractor. If you are going to work it, a diesel is the way to go, but if it’s a hobby tractor, gas is more civilized, especially when it gets cold( on our last stretch of cold weather, -20, after it “warmed up” to 0, I went to start the Allis, and no kidding, it turned over once and fired. The Leyland diesel, even plugged in, so sorry, not today. Not sure of the value, looks like a good tractor, good rubber, huge expense if worn.

    • John H

      I also never knew that some Olivers were Fiat powered! Always something to learn.

      Howard, it’s amazing how many 8ns are still around and still working. I think that three-quarters of the tractor guys (and one girl) have an 8n in the garage. Most of them around here are relegated to snow plow duty. I considered an 8n when I was looking for a plow tractor a few years back, but ended up with one built a size smaller in the Satoh.

      And a gas engine is certainly a lot easier on cold mornings (or anything below about 50). If it weren’t for the engine block heater the Satoh would never fire off for me, and even then I often have to jump it from the truck. There’s no way to fit a decent size battery in it — or no easy way without cutting sheet metal.

  2. Bingo

    Didn’t everyone’s grandpa have a John Deere B?

    I personally like the little Farmall Cub. It’s a cute little parade tractor.

  3. Matt

    Looks like a deal for that size and high low trans with power steering, must have something wrong with it, hdy leaks or something. A good diesel tractor with same HP bring more money in Georgia.
    I’ve got an 841 gas ford needs work $2500
    Got a 641 gas looks like new money and $3500 wouldn’t buy it. I wouldn’t be afraid to own this one for that price ,it also has the good rear adjustable wheels

  4. geomechs geomechs Member

    They’re actually quite well built. Oliver had a standard and they wouldn’t use anything that didn’t measure up. However, these tractors have a problem with the fuel system that creeps up from time to time. First of all it seemed like no one could make up their minds what to actually use. If you got a CAV distributor pump you did OK. However there were some that used either a Bosch inline injection pump or a Bosch-licensed FIAT-built injection pump with either a Japanese-made Diesel Kiki governor or a FIAT-built governor. They all worked OK and you could (for a while) get nearly everything you needed to repair them from Bosch. However, the lower (camshaft) compartment uses a separate oil reservoir, and has to be periodically drained and refilled. Very few people did that and consequently the camshaft bearings would fail, tappet rollers would fail and generally things would pile up inside. The exhaust would smoke bluish white and the motor would run like an old toilet. I’ve rebuilt lots of them and plumbed in a pressure lube system that uses engine oil pressure to keep the cambox going. Works fine when it works. Anyone looking at this unit should check to see what fuel system it’s running and make a decision from there. If it’s a distributor pump you’re pretty safe but if it’s an inline, you could be in for some challenges, especially today when parts are getting really scarce.

    • Howard A Member

      We here are lucky to have a guy like you on board, geomechs. Folks, this man has forgotten more than I know.

      • geomechs geomechs Member

        Hold on there, Howard, don’t say too much; my head might not make it through the door. I’ve seen quite a few of these fail in the past and I was just trying to help. Okay, thanks for the boost :-).

  5. geomechs geomechs Member

    The best tractor design of all time? More like what’s better? Ford or Chevy? I worked on lots of various makes of tractors, trucks, cars and anything else that burns gasoline or diesel fuel. They ALL break. For me it’s pretty hard to beat a John Deere 4020; 250K of them built and probably 200K are still in operation today. We regularly service a lot of JDs that are 50+ years old and in daily operation. But saying that I’m sure to get the CASE, Massey Ferguson and International enthusiasts’ underwear in a knot because they’ll know someone who is still using his 60+ year old Farmall H on a daily basis. They’re ALL designed to serve a purpose and no one designed them to FAIL. Which is better? Which is your favorite color?

    Like 1
    • Howard A Member

      Hi geomechs, living in a farm community ( rapidly disappearing) people are very opinionated about tractors. Usually what dad had was best. The Leyland is about as foreign as you get. No Chinese tractors ’round here. But truth be known, they all do a good job. This farm also has a IH 806 diesel ( the BIG 806 they call it, oh boy) , that needs ether even at 70 degrees, every system leaks and I don’t like it one bit. Got some funky shift, I agree, The 4020, which seems to be in the same class as the 806, oops, the BIG 806, is a much better tractor. There’s a cable channel in our area, called RFDTV, and it’s all farm news and sometimes have vintage tractor auctions, like the car ones. Some nice tractors go through there, and vintage tractors are catching on, and they don’t have near the drama. With tractors, what you see is what you get.

    • Snotty

      Dad stuck me on the seat of a 1960 John Deere 4010 when I was bout 8 which would make it around 1968, that and a W-6 International,put a lot of butt time on both of these. I recall the W-6, had a fast road gear [steering was a bit loose] ya had to be on top of your game driving down the road pulling a three bottom plow heading to or home from the field…Good Memories!

      • Howard A Member

        Hi Snotty, of all the tractors I’ve driven, quite a few, I’d say 3/4’s of them had sloppy steering, and 1/2 of them had no ( or very poor) brakes! What is with that? Why are brakes always overlooked on old tractors?

  6. Bruce

    I own a Allis Chalmers 615 backhoe, A Ford 641 tractor, a John Deere 401 loader, A John Deere 4100 compact, 3 Allis Chalmers garden tractors , a Cub Cadet lawn mower, and a John Deere Gator XUV550.. All for 3 acres of land ! Each has a use, each has a strong point, each has a weak point. I guess you’d say I’m not “brand loyal”. I’m partial to the Allis’s because my Father sold them for a living, but they are all good….

    • Milt

      As a 11 year old kid working on a dairy farm, I got “weaned” on a little Allis Chalmers cultivator rear-drive tractor, and graduated to a huge Massey-Ferguson. The Allis Chalmers cultivator is still manufactured today under the name Tuff-Built. Trying to come up with a valid rationalization to buy a Tuff-Built but living in a condo, wife says no way.

      • Neal

        Milt, it’s easier to ask for forgiveness than get permission :)

  7. John Hess Member

    Oliver’s were made in South Bend, In. in the early days, heavy tractors, they also made a few outboards, we had one, 50hp and weighed as much as a tractor.
    One guy couldn’t remove/install it on a boat, heavy,heavy but rain well and we used it for over a year until my father in law couldn’t handle it any more in the spring/fall.

  8. Dale Powell

    More correctly , South Bend was the home of Oliver Chilled Plow works, a forunner of Oliver tractors. All the tractors were built at Charles City Iowa at the former Hart Parr Works after their merger in the late ’20’s….

  9. smittydog

    I like ’em all…wish I still lived on the mini farm…looks like a fair price.

  10. smittydog

    Oh ya…thanks for the potato salad story

  11. G 1

    Try and get parts for that mut

    • Stephen

      No problem. There’s a specialty supplier online called Import Tractor Parts, and they have practically anything you would ever need for this tractor.

  12. Dale Powell

    My buddy bought a Fiat Agripower 7000 , so far we’ve found everthing on EBAY !!! Oh, it has the Bosch Pump and Gov .

  13. half cab

    We had an Oliver back when I was a teenager. Had been in a hay field all day and was heading home a couple miles down the road n over a steep hill that when I started down the hi at a good rated of speed fir the ole tractor the steering wheel pops off!

    I almost ruined my pants.

    Like 1
  14. Steve H.

    The best design in my opinion is the International H. Simple and elegant. We had two of them in the 50’s on our farm in Indiana.

  15. Linda Bevin

    Could anyone suggest why the old faithful Fiat 615 has started jumping out of Hi Lo ratio? Thanks Farm Girl

    • half cab

      I would make sure it real clean around the shift pin. Dirt and crap can cause the pin not to engage all the way therefore jumping out of hi or low

      Like 1
  16. linda bevin

    Hey thanks from New Zealand
    half cab! I will definitely check that out

    .

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