Happy and reflective Independence Day greetings from the Middle West!
Beautiful picture. If that’s your machinery, thanks for taking the time to set it up!
That is an awesome picture. Happy Independence Day, Ed!
Aftermarket rear rubber.
What’s the year on that? I’m guessing 1952…
I put new Firestones on it all around when I restored it in ’07. It’s an early ’50 (front-mount distributor), still 6v.
…distributor? Or, magneto?
I worked with two of those…a 1949 with a magneto; and a 1952 with a distributor. No difference in operation; but the distributor in the newer one stood out like a wound, from the engine space.
The newer one had the headlights as well…why I suggested yours was early 1950s. Both were 6v.
The 2N (1942-47) had the magneto ignition, but only for a short time, maybe a year or so – the early 2Ns also had steel wheels (no rubber tires) – both were due to wartime materials restrictions. All N series were 6v from the factory.
The late ’50 through ’52 8Ns had a side mount distributor similar to what you’d find on your car.
Beg to differ on that. Our 1948 was an 8N; no mistaking it. Five-speed gearbox; footboards instead of pegs. Identical in most ways to the later 8N. But it had the front-of-the-engine magneto.
It’s possible it was one of the first and Ford was using up its stockpile of parts.
Interesting… All my references indicate the 2N magneto tractors (no battery, hand crank) were only produced through mid-1942, after which they went back to rubber tires and battery ignition.
Your description of the tractor having footboards and a “five speed” transmission (I presume you meant 4-speed plus reverse) is consistent with the 8N (1948-52). While very uncommon, I have occasionally run across guys who swapped a mag for their front mounted distributor (bolts right in). Here’s a pic of the mag for reference:
And here’s a pic of the front-mount distributor on my early ’50 8N:
“Interesting… All my references indicate the 2N magneto tractors (no battery, hand crank) were only produced through mid-1942, after which they went back to rubber tires and battery ignition.”
Ah. No, the tractor in question wasn’t set up that way. It had a starter; a 6v battery and generator. But the magneto remained.
It was outfitted for a crank, however. One fall morning the battery was dead; and I asked the foreman if he wanted me to crank it. After all, there wasn’t another 6v rig to jump it from at that moment.
He exploded; and then, at lunch, schooled me on the dangers of using a crank. There weren’t gonna be any broken arms in HIS shop, not that day!
You’re right, it was four speeds. Memories fade; this was a long time ago.
Road gear, 4th, was in the center gate and up. The gear-selection layout was THE strangest I’ve ever seen on a vehicle.
The magneto in the 1948, wasn’t where that conversion was. That, of course, is where the 1952 had its distributor.
The magneto was on the front of the engine; a square, almost-flush box, below the water pump and above the crankshaft.
Anyway, the mechanics told me it was a magneto. I knew nothing of mechanics in those days; one day when I was sent to pick it up from the village garage, I commented to the mechanic what a strange distributor that was. And he told me; and since he did the maintenance on it, I’d have to presume he knew.
Very cool Ed I like old tractors and your one still works
Wow, that really says “America” to me more than some of the other images proffered this time of year.
From one midwestern boy to another, Happy Independence Day!
This reminds me of a movie from 1999, The Straight Story:
About an elderly gentleman that uses a riding lawnmower to travel across 3 states to visit his elderly brother. True story and the film was shot in chronological order along the same route. A very touching story and movie, although it is not July 4th based, it does make for a good American human interest story.
Directed by David Lynch, no less. A very fine flick indeed.
This is the vehicle that my uncle taught me to drive on. I was helping him on the farm by the time I was seven years old. Neat stuff.
I’ve enjoyed doing the same with mine.
It’s also the vehicle I learned how to work a manual gearbox on.
I had never driven a manual before. I was seventeen and fresh out of high school and living in a different town. I had no car; later I’d use some of my summer earnings to buy my first one.
But the mysteries of clutching and shifting escaped me…until I dumped the clutch on the 8N a few times. In short order I got good enough I could do a rolling shift on that non-synchro gearbox.
What a beautiful photograph, thank you for posting it.
This is very cool. (6th attempt at posting — “invalid data” error again)
Nice pic, I’m going to use it as my computer desktop for a day or so.
…and I’ve never ridden a real tractor in my life.
Fabulous picture, Ed. Mrs. JPC and I were driving home from an out of town visit yesterday through Indiana farm country and saw a similar sight. Only there, the American flag was affixed to a John Deere model B with the spoked wheels. I could only ID it because my father owned one of them for awhile, and it was one of the first things I ever got to drive. Unfortunately, it was getting late and I did not stop for a photo.
My ’56 601 still works for a living at our place. I swear, those old Ford tractors will run forever.
Now that’s a great tractor. My uncle gave me one a few years ago and I’m currently restoring it.
Be sure to check out the 8N forum over at Yesterday’s Tractors – I hang out there a bit, and it’s a great resource if you’re using or restoring an N.
I got to drive one of those half a mile down a gravel road in Minnesota when I was about 12. Great memory!
I linked the article to my facebook page – I know at least a few of my friends would like to see it.
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *
Notify me of follow-up comments by email.
Notify me of new posts by email.
This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.
Copyright 2011 - 2021 Curbside Classics. All Rights Reserved.