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Vintage Tractor Sold for More Than $1 Million


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Sidebar to a good post... ... I grew up around Ford 8 and 9N tractors- in fact, the first Ford engines I ever worked on as a youngster in the early '90s were tractor engines. As a kid, I always had a little thing for Oliver tractors from the '40s. I thought they were good-looking, for a tractor anyways, but my dad always held them in low regard compared to the Ford's. 

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The big thing Ford had over Oliver/Hart-Parr in those years was the dealer network and the Ferguson System hitch and hydraulics.

 

I like most old tractors but John Deere, while capable tractors, are the Tri-Five Chevy of the tractor world- everybody has one.

 

That Case Traction Engine is gorgeous. I spend too much time on YouTube watching these old behemoths drag 30 or more plows across Western prairie.

 

 

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12 minutes ago, hidden_hunter said:

For that money I’d go steam 

 

I can't find it but there was a steam show tractor for sale in England a few years ago that was insane.  Not intended for actual work,  just to make a scene.

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I don't think there was really a North American equivalent to the English  " Showman " engines like the one above. They were used to haul wagons of traveling amusement fairs , and once on site provide electrical power for all the rides and lighting. Very highly decorated, and often used right up to the 1960's. Long after steam power was obsolete in North America. They are considered to be extremely desirable machines in the U.K. steam hobby.

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Local place in Lancaster Co. Rough and Tumble museum, has a large show at least once a year, maybe more. Many dozens of these behemoth steamers. Its a great day to watch them rolling around the fairgrounds. For those that have never seen them in motion, they are surprisingly quiet when they run. They also hook up saw mills, threshers and the such as they were originally intended to be used.

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In regards to the million dollar Case... not only is the price tag steep for these amazing pieces of iron but also ownership in general - you just don't stuff it in a enclosed trailer and head off to the show. Your talking machines that can easily tip the scales at 15,000 lbs or more and often involve an oversize load situation.

 

I have the utmost respect for the people who collect, restore and demonstrate these machines. Its a fascinating piece of history.

 

 

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58 minutes ago, 60FlatTop said:

Must be what they mean when they say "If that's the Case".

 

 

Nope......it's Mental Case! 🥸

 

 

Whoever paid a million five hundred......they are not normal like us car guys.......we know the value of everything!😉

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4 hours ago, alsancle said:

 

I can't find it but there was a steam show tractor for sale in England a few years ago that was insane.  Not intended for actual work,  just to make a scene.

 

The Great Dorset Steam Fair.......I plan on attending soon.....

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 I've always had a great fascination with antique tractors and steam engines. Back in the 90s I had about 14 tractors mostly 30s-40s vintage. I've had opportunity to run steam traction engines from Case, Frick, Port Huron, Geiser and Gaar-Scott. Interesting machines for sure but you've got to know what you're doing. Never thought I'd see a seven figure tractor though. The late Ken Eder from North Carolina had a fantastic collection of these machines and put on a big show every November.

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23 hours ago, edinmass said:

 

The Great Dorset Steam Fair.......I plan on attending soon.....

Yes, that's a great event-one of several held throughout the UK. When we lived in Scotland there was a collector who lived nearby who had several of these old steam engines including an antique road roller. They were all beautifully decorated and dripping with brass. The transport extravaganza at Crich and the shows at Beamish were favorites.

Terry

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If you ever get a to a show where one is active, be sure to stay for the evening event. We had a Frick at the county fair tractor pull and when the operator got half way down the track, he threw in some cedar chips. What a show...sparks flew and the crowd loved it.

BTW, he said those engines had incredible torque. Something on the order of 7000 ft-lbs!

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On 5/7/2022 at 2:29 AM, edinmass said:

 

The Great Dorset Steam Fair.......I plan on attending soon.....

Yes, do it before you are too old. It is a huge event that requires a lot of walking. We did it in 2016, when there were more than 60 of those 'showy' showman's engines there.

 

Regarding the Case tractor that is the subject of this thread I think the tractors with upright engines and exposed overhead valve gear much more interesting to watch. And then of course there is steam....

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These photos were taken at Ken Eder's a number of years back. That's his "Best" traction engine with me on the platform. The upright boiler design is interesting to say the least. Note that whoever was firing the boiler had to walk behind or ride the lower platform.

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2 hours ago, BillinMd said:

Something on the order of 7000 ft-lbs!

We ran the calculations on our 20 ton, 1907 Lombard log hauler at the Maine Forest & Logging Museum - its figured out to approx. 11,000 ft/lbs at the tracks. Not bad for 100 hp. and 250 rpm.

IMG_1623.JPG.b2e16768d092c2007d4950e0efb85cfa.JPG

 

Here I am at the throttle. Its an amazing machine to operate. Its a very smooth running machine. There is nothing to compare to steam power. 

DSC_7787.JPG.aa59e2e45ab774692a2c4144332340d8.JPG

 

 

There are no brakes and the steering is many,many turns from lock to lock. As we like to say... Steer early and Steer often.

IMG_1774.JPG.7f2be5fead194aef5682d376c554c519.JPG

 

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At the time, I had some serious misgivings about it. However, my dad sure had fun at a meet about forty years ago. He had grown up on his grandparent's cattle ranch near the Northeastern corner of Nevada high desert, during the depression.

The meet was the Friendship Day meet still put on by the Mid Peninsula Old Time Automobile Club (a good local independent antique car club). It was an open invitation to all area clubs and non club individuals to bring whatever you want to show off in a nonjudging show. It often had an attendance of between five hundred and a thousand cars in those days! My dad loved going to car shows, but rarely did. It was usually something he was "going to do" later. But this time, he and mom showed up in the modern car, but he didn't wander around much.

Some fellow, I didn't know him, never even heard who it was, brought some big steam tractor of around 1900 in on his company truck. He managed to get it unloaded, and tried to show it off. It became obvious to everyone that he really knew nothing about it, but it was still an immediate hit with people. Then my dad wandered by. He had always loved tractors, and the bigger the better. Although he had little practical experience (some, just not a lot), and he had grown up around a few similar steam tractors and railroad locomotives, he and the fellow that brought the tractor talked a lot. 

The next thing I know, someone tells me that my dad is helping the fellow fire up the boilers and checking the thing out for nobody knows what! Now, my dad was a brilliant man, well versed in physics, an electrical, structural, and construction engineer. But this was a bit out of his wheelhouse so to speak. 

Frankly, I had visions of the thing blowing my dad and itself to bits! It didn't help any that my dad had lost an eye in a dynamite accident on a construction site when I was twelve! (It was someone else's fault!) (But getting literally blown up once should be enough for anybody!) I didn't know what condition the thing was in? The owner obviously knew almost nothing about himself!

An hour later, the owner and my dad are driving the thing all over the show grounds! And they continued for a couple/few hours! The tractor, and my dad, were the hit of the show!

Nothing bad happened (Thankfully!), and I am sure that in part was due to my dad taking reasonable and intelligent precautions.

In retrospect? I suspect it was one of the best days in my dad's life! He liked to be the center of attention. And he rarely got to be center stage at anything like a several hundreds of great cars type showing.

 

A few years later, I was at another Friendship Day meet. A few conversations I heard asked "Were you here the year that guy drove the steam tractor around?" I would just smile.

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We have lake goldsmith here in Victoria, which has a lot of the older steam and early stationary engines

 

https://www.lakegoldsmithsteamrally.org.au/rallies.html

 

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They also have a working steam shovel that they demonstrate

 

Definitely worth coming to if you're into early industrial and farming equipment

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