Versatile traces its roots back to Peter Pakosh and his brother in law who began designing and building grain augers in Toronto in 1945. The company expanded its product line to sprayers and harrow bars. In 1954, the decision was made to transfer the company to Winnipeg as this location was closer to its major customers, the Prairie grain farmer.
After the move, the Model 103 Versatile swather was added to the product line. While swathers had been around for a while by 1954, the 103 with its steering wheel was an innovation that other manufacturers soon followed. Before the 103, self propelled swathers used lever activated clutch drive systems to the left and right drive wheels to steer the machine, much like a bulldozer was steered. While this worked, steering was somewhat clumsy. The steering wheel was much easier to understand and gave finer control.
The 103 used a mechanical drive system and a Wisconsin air cooled engine. While economical, the Wisconsin needed careful handling. One was advised to idle a Wisconsin engine for a few minutes before shutting off. If shut off hot, Wisconsin engines seemed to have the fault of exhaust valves seizing up. Idling the engine cooled the valves to the point where the exhaust valves would not seize in their guides due to the lubricating oil evaporating off.
The 103 stayed in production until 1965 when it was replaced with the Versatile 400 self propelled swather.