September 16, 2021
What is the Best Old Tractor to Buy?
Buying an old tractor might be a choice of necessity or nostalgia. Some farmers want to buy a used tractor they can repair themselves to perform heavy work, and wonder, “what is the most reliable old tractor?” Others want a vintage tractor for the sake of memories and connection to their heritage. In either case, there are common qualities to look for in an old tractor to be confident you are making a smart, lasting investment. Here’s what you need to know.
What is the Best Old Tractor?
There are many brands of tractors whose models from the 1970’s, 80’s, and 90’s still perform well, including Massey Ferguson, Kubota, Case, Allis-Chalmers, International Harvester, John Deere, and more. The question of which old tractor is the best isn’t one of specific manufacturer but rather how each machine has been maintained, and how many hours it has been used. The needs of the buyer also determine which old tractor is best for them for the money. Don’t forget to look at these factors:
Well-Maintained Used Tractor: Are there dings and dents on the outside? Can you tell from the upholstery if the tractor was stored indoors or outdoors? Can you see maintenance records from the seller? Is there documentation of the hours used?
Different Tractor Classes: Consider if the size, power, tires, and attachments of the used tractor will meet your needs. This includes features like four-wheel drive, a loader, and an enclosed cab to protect you from the elements.
Tractor Dealerships Near You: Lastly, before you buy an old tractor, do a little research about how easy it will be to have it inspected and regularly serviced. If there isn’t a dealership of that brand near you, that might become a problem.
What Makes a Tractor Vintage?
Like other antiques, what makes a tractor vintage is its age. But there’s a lot of disagreement about what age a tractor becomes antique. With other vehicles like cars, anything 25 years old or older can be classified as antique. But tractors are expected to be used longer than cars. Generally speaking, any tractor manufactured in 1960 or earlier is currently considered an antique tractor.
What is the Best Vintage Tractor to Buy?
While the right vintage tractor depends on if you want working machinery or a fully-restored showpiece, here are some of the classic vintage tractors that can also still get the job done:
Best Old Tractors*º
- Ford 8N Tractor: Began production in 1947, and eventually accounted for 25% of all tractors manufactured until 1952, selling at least 400 tractors a day every day for five straight years.
- John Deere 4020: Produced from 1963-1972, the most popular tractor of its time with over 184,000 units built and sold.
- FARMALL Model M: This International Harvester model was manufactured from 1939-1952 and was the first diesel tractor of its kind.
Allis-Chalmers WC: Manufactured and sold from 1933-1948, this early tractor was affordably priced at just $1,341 in 1947.
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