While in Iceland with the family earlier this summer, we of course trekked to see the original Geyser from which all others take their name – “Geysir”. At the visitor center across the road, I was very surprised to see our subject exhibited on the forecourt.
While Geysir is relatively dormant, literally next to it sits “Strokkur”, which erupts approximately every 20 minutes. Since all of the kids wanted to be in the spray zone and receive a sulfury shower, I was able to sneak away in order to look over this Deutz D15 tractor.
Built between 1959 and 1965, the Deutz D15 was the smallest in the range of Deutz tractors and features an air cooled single cylinder four-stroke 52 cubic inch engine that produces 14hp at 2400rpm.
It is further equipped with a ZF gearbox containing six forward gears and two reverse gears. Maximum speed appears to be about 11 or 12 mph, not that maximum speed is really of much concern in this application. As regards size, I would say it is similar to a Ford 8N, but perhaps a bit taller, if that gives anyone some more perspective.
Deutz itself is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year, having been founded in 1864 as N.A. Otto & Cie by Nikolaus Otto. Yes, the same Otto that invented the four-stroke internal combustion engine itself! As an aside, many famous industry names worked for Deutz over the years including Gottlieb Daimler, Wilhelm Maybach, Rudolf Diesel, Robert Bosch, Ettore Bugatti and others, making Deutz quite the industry name hit factory.
Deutz obviously produced tractors and agricultural equipment, but they also produced trucks and buses. However in 1995 Deutz sold its agricultural division, by then known as Deutz-Fahr to the Italian company SAME, forming SAME Deutz-Fahr, which really doesn’t roll of the tongue very readily.
While this example of the D-15 is obviously restored and presumably hailing from somewhere in the surrounding area in Iceland, I was not able to figure out if there was a particular historical reason why it was placed in this location.
Perhaps there is no reason besides to provide something else for kids to mess around with or climb on while their parents shopped in the gift shop, although it seemed that all of the parents were generally keeping a close eye on their brood, lest they end up parboiled in a geyser.
The tractor itself was in very good condition, and exhibited none of the scratches and wear marks of others I’ve seen pulling similar duty back home in the States. Of course it could have just been freshly restored or placed in this position recently. I very much liked the badging on these, quite ornate and obviously of an era long gone. For you non-German readers, Luftgekühlt = Air cooled.
My research indicates that 20,750 of these were produced in the factory in Cologne, Germany. I’m sure when I was a kid living in a farm village in Germany I saw numerous examples of these, but I have yet to see one in the US. I’ve become a fan of tractors and enjoy looking at them at fairs and the like, but don’t have much personal knowledge of any of them. I hope you enjoy this one as much as I did, I am always surprised at the unexpected things that present themselves in the most surprising places.