Equipment Notebook - Antique Tractors

Antique tractors are on the move – not just in parades, shows and annual tractor rides. They’re being shuffled from one owner to the next on a regular basis. So what will it cost you if you decide you have to bring home that beauty that caught your eye in the last show or parade?

Prices in 2008 ranged from $125 to $162,500. As a rule, the older and more rare the tractor the higher the price. Some very collectable tractors have sold in 2009 for between $10,000 and $42,000 so there’s room at auction sales for all kinds of budgets. The most expensive antique tractor reported sold in 2008 was a 1920 John Deere N that went for $162,500. It sold in Wisconsin in June 2008.


The Waterloo Boy Model N was the first tractor tested at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln when they began gathering test data on tractors that same year, 1920. The N was advertised as “The Original Kerosene Tractor.” Its kerosene-burning engine was a 6 ½ x 7-inch bore-and-stroke that operated at 750 rpm. A 1918 John Deere Waterloo Boy, model unknown, sold in Illinois in July 2008 for $110,000. The first Waterloo Boy tractor, the One Man Tractor, was manufactured in 1913.

The Model R was first introduced in 1914. The highest priced antique tractor reported sold so far in 2009 was also John Deere. It was a 1958 620-Osold for $32,500 in Illinois. The 620 was manufactured between 1956 and 1958. It was available in four different varieties: the row-crop 620, standard 620S, orchard 620-O and high-crop 620H. Its original price in 1956 was $3,000.

A 1957 John Deere standard 320S which was manufactured between 1956 and 1958, sold for $30,000 in Illinois in January 2009. This model was also manufactured in three versions, which includes the row-crop 320 and utility 320U An Oliver 770 sold in Illinois in January 2009 brought $26,000. This model was manufactured between 1958 and 1967 and was available as a wheatland, high-crop and orchard model. Its price in 1967 was $4,345. The standard model was designed with a wide front axle. The high-crop was high clearance and the orchard was a low profile model A 1977 Oliver orchard model went for $24,000 at an Illinois auction in January 2009.

A 1969 Oliver 2150 brought $24,000 and also sold in Illinois at a January auction. The 2150 was manufactured in 1968 and 1969. The 1969 listed price was $13,800. A 1969 Oliver 1650 also brought $24,000 at a January 2009 auction in Illinois. This tractor was manufactured between 1964 and 1969. The Hydra-Power transmission offered an under-drive to each drive gear, which could be selected on the move. The Hydraul-Shift offered an on-the-fly under- and over-drive gear. Its listed price in 1969 was $7,100 1965 International Harvester FRM 1206 sold at an Illinois auction in January 2009 for $16,000. The 1206 was produced between 1965 and 1967. Two different varieties were designed. The IH/wheatland and Farmall row-crop. A total of 1,289 wheatland modesl were made and 8,400 row-crop models. The 1967 price of the 1206 was $9,450. An IH Farmall Super MD (no year given) was sold at auction in Illinois in January 2009 and brought $13,000. The Super M was made between 1952 and 1954. A total of 44,551 were manufactured and the original price in 1954 was $2,500.

Few Massey Fergusons have been reported sold in 2009 at this point. A 1932 model brought $10,500 at a January 2009 sale in Illinois. A Minneapolis Moline R brought $10,000, again at a January sale in Illinois. The R was introduced in 1939 and rated at 24hp. It featured a 165 cid engine with 3 5/8 x 4. A John Deere 730, which was manufactured between 1958 and 1961, brought $10,000 at a March 2009 sale in Illinois. The tractor was available in row-crop, standard or high-crop versions. Its original price in 1960 was $3,700. An April 2009 auction sale in Iowa saw a John Deere 3020 sell for $10,000. This model was made between 1964 and 1972. It was part of the New Generation series and listed for $10,000 in 1972.

There’s no doubt auction sales of antique tractors are taking place every week and the old iron seems to be holding pretty good value, and offering collectors some opportunities for fun. For more information on antique tractors, visit Iron Memories - Antique Tractors and Equipment.

Loretta Sorensen
Prairie Hearth Publishing, LLC
231 Broadway Ste#6
Yankton, SD 57078