The Best “75” hit the market in 1913. It was followed by 30 horsepower “Muley” about 1914, and a derivation called the “30 Humpback” in 1915. For 1917, Best offered 20-40, 37 1/2-75, and 45-90 models. A 35-60 crawler was introduced in 1919, followed by the 12-25 and 18-30 series in 1920. Tiller wheels were thrown away in designing the 30 horsepower Muley. For a short time about 1916, Best also built an 8-16 Pony model. Within these two models were embodied many principles of design that remain to the present time.
Daniel Best was an inventor who got his first big break with his three-wheeled steam engine in 1889. He sold out to his old competitor, the Holt Manufacturing Company in 1908. In 1910 C. L. Best, a son of Daniel Best organized the C.L. Best Gas Traction Engine Company at Elmhurst, California. Its initial purpose was to build a three-wheeled tractor using a Buffalo gasoline engine. Before long, the Holt and Best companies were competitors again. On April 25. 1925, the Best and Holt interests once again merged and created the Caterpillar Tractor Company.
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