If anyone’s noticed my absence over the past couple weeks other than a stray comment here or there, boy, do I have a story to share with you! Until I have time to write it up, here’s a shot of two COALs from 1950, my Ford 8N and International L-170, featuring the Comfo-Vision cab.
I restored the 8N about five years ago and it gets worked hard year-round here on the farm. The Binder (a common nickname for International trucks) was purchased with an eye toward restoring for use in hauling hay. My upcoming story has to do with why the Binder is no longer sitting in the back of the machine shed.
I loves me a mystery!
Did you fill your machine shed with the largest Caterpillar dozer made?
A D11T is almost as big as my shed!
Second guess: You are building an airplane?
Well, if “building an airplane” is defined by “I have started building one, and have yet to finish,” then I’ve technically been building one for over fifteen years now (I’ve done maybe ten hours of work on it since moving to The Middle West).
The story does in fact involve the airplane, though.
Curiouser and curiouser!
Hmmm……involves the airplane, not finished yet………Last guess: you are setting up to make a flying VW Beetle 🙂
Well, the airplane (a replica WWI Nieuport 11 biplane) will be powered by a VW engine, but no, you’re barking up the wrong tree at this point.
Nice L, I really like the Unity fog lights, do they have the Man On The Tractor logo on them? I’ve got a spot with the Man On The Tractor. Kind of annoying that they make repo badges for many other makes but not IH who did a pretty good job of pedaling them through their Neccessories catalogs until they switched the emphasis to the offerings from Per-Lux. You really need the rocket clearance lights instead of the tear drops though.
IIRC, they just have the letters IH on them. Will have to go look at them closely again…
I’ve never seen an IH logo that wasn’t the Man On The Tractor logo. The I is in the middle of the H the black H representing the tires and axle while the red H represents the grill with the dot on the I representing the man. It was a Loewy design.
Wow the rarest of rare badge for those lights. Definitely put on when that truck was brand new. Thanks for sharing it.
The first machine I ever drove was granddad’s Ford tractor just like this one. Yours is a beauty and brings back nice memories.
It was the first (conventional) tractor I drove (a Gravely doesn’t count) and the first vehicle with a clutch and gearbox.
I was seventeen; didn’t have a car yet; and went to work on a golf course. They had TWO 8Ns to tow gang mowers and work-trailers around.
First thing I learned, after figuring out not to dump the clutch, was how WEAK was a tractor engine of that era! A city kid…he thinks, TRACTOR, it’s gotta be powerful, right? Well…not quite. I think I remember reading those things generated 27 horsepower. Pulling a seven-mower gang (Jacobsen/Worthington reel mower gangs) without repeatedly stalling out, was a bit of a challenge.
Now, older, wiser, and longing for a mini-farm estate…I’d love to have one. But any property buys will have to wait a bit longer…
That second photo is a really nice shot. That tractor is a real beauty too – something really right and timeless about the design.
The N Series came out in 1939 (9N), and the styling reflects Art Deco influences. The last 8Ns were made in 1952, so the design had a 13-ish year run with only minor revisions. I have these on my CC to-do list.
The IH L Series was introduced in late 1949 (1950 models) and were facelifted to the R Series in 1953. The Comfo-Vision cab was used on numerous other trucks, some as late as the early 1970s, IIRC.
That is a sweet tractor.
Ford tractors are terrific. My father is on his third (and longest tenured) Ford tractor. His first was a three-speed model from the late ’40’s; the second was a four-speed from the early ’50’s; his current one is a five-speed from the late ’50’s. I just cannot remember model names for each.
Long time ago, I was given a pretty rusty ’74 Ranchero from a great-aunt; she had been widowed around 10 years at this point and the Ranchero had been sitting that entire time. I drained the gas tank (it was nearly full) and dumped the old gasoline in dad’s current Ford tractor. It ran just fine on that ancient gasoline, although it did stink pretty bad. They will run on just about anything.
Late ’40s would be either a 2N (up through 1947-ish) or 8N (1948-52). The five speed would probably be one of the “Hundred Series” tractors that came after the Jubilees (1952-54) that followed the 8N.
“The Ford N-Series tractor was a range of farm tractors produced by Ford between 1939 and 1954 spanning the 9N, 2N, 8N and NAA models.
The 9N, produced by Ford, introduced the first three-point hitch system on American-made tractors, a design which is still utilized on most modern tractors today, It was released in October 1939 (hence 9N. The 2N was a renaming of the 9N mainly due to war rationing but also due to cumulative improvements made since the introduction of the 9N. It was introduced in 1942, but it is of note that both were referred to as Ford-Fergusons and their serial numbers both began with 9N. The 8N debuted in July 1947, a largely new machine featuring more power and an improved transmission which proved to be the most popular farm tractor of all time in North America.”
The numeral before the “N” indicated the last digit of the year introduced.
The Golden Jubilee models were marked NAA; had OHV engines. From there, sometime before 1963, Ford went with three-cylinder OHV tractor motors…they were gutless, torque-free, high-revving units.
We had two of those, also, a 1963 and a 1969. Didn’t like them; even though the novelty of a three-cylinder engine intrigued me (that was before Suzuki and Daihatsu three-pots).
That 3point linkage was the intelectual property of Harry Ferguson as Henry Ford was to find to his cost 6.5 million dollars it cost Henry for stealing others ideas. The FERGUSON system has been copied by most tractor manufacturers now but it was never a Ford invention. Ford tractors were nearly useless for implement work, being a flatland design also stolen by Henry from the FARGAS tractor corporation
No one said it was a Ford invention, it says the Ford was the first tractor to be produced and sold in the US that used the Ferguson system. It was produced with full approval of Ferguson, the tractors carried “Ferguson System” badges. Ferguson’s system didn’t meet with success initially though so showed his invention to Henry. That meeting prompted Henry to get back in the tractor business. However since there was never any contracts signed when the relationship soured when they went their separate ways the use of the 3 point hitch was litigated.
Actually Henry was never out of the tractor business.
“Fordson” was a product of “Henry Ford & Son Co.” – a separate business from the Ford Motor Company. This, because his partners in Ford, James Couzins chief among them, did not want to be in the tractor business and didn’t want distractions from automobiles.
So Henry formed Fordson. Later, after Ford’s partners were bought off and sent packing, Fordson was brought into the Ford Motor Company. I believe the 9N was the first ag product that wore the “Ford” name, script and all.
But by that time, Edsel Ford was officially in charge; Bennett and Sorensen in fact. Henry was still tinkering; but his mental state was revealed by how the handshake agreement with Ferguson degenerated into charges, counter-charges, lawsuits and Ferguson forming a competing company.
and by the time the 8N was out, Henry was senile and was being pushed aside by Hank the Deuce
There was another reason for the “Fordson” name. Before Henry got into tractors, a couple of con artists traded on the Ford name with a poorly built tractor. They got a guy named Ford as a front man, but they had the Ford name and Henry couldn’t get it until they went under. As I recall, the Fordson brand was used for UK tractors into the ’50s.
The litigation over the Ferguson hitch system was also interesting. Harry had the system, but the advantages were so much greater than the competing systems that the judge effectively broke the patent. No idea of what shenanigans if any accompanied the judge’s decision, though Henry did have to pay up.
After that, all the major manufacturers went to the 3-point system, though the self-leveling top link sported by Ford and Ferguson wasn’t so popular. Freeing that patent opened a lot of possibilities, in that a wide range of tractors could use a wider range of implements without being locked into the tractor manufacturer’s line of stuff. It also means a new application can be cobbled up from farm-store parts, like my pine-needle rake (using hay rake tines), or the sprayer platform.
Fordson production in the US ended in 1928. It continued on in Ireland and the UK, and a few were imported, but in the US, Ford was essentially out of the tractor business from 1928 until 1939.
I have a neighbor down the street with an old tractor. I’ll have to stop by and see what it is, but it looks like it might be an old Fordson.
Another neighbor on the other end of the street has a beautiful Model A that comes out when the weather is nice. Looks like I’ll have to make some friends this year.
Here ye are a 47 Fergie This one is owned ny a friend all original even has an accessory speedo and kiwi linkage lock for use with transport tray
Very cool vehicles, though neither would ever work out in my suburban neighborhood.
One thing always confused me about Ford tractors. Other tractors always had a signature color. IH was red, John Deere and Oliver green (yellow and gray trim, respectively), Case yellow, as was Minneapolis Moline, IIRC. There were others. But Fords were always some combo of red, gray, blue and yellow, and I never understood the progression. They eventually settled on blue/gray, apparently around the time folks stopped buying Ford farm equipment.
As for the mystery on the Binder, I would guess that the Comfo-Vision cab is SOOOOOOO comfortable, that Mrs. Ed simply demanded that you get it outdoors so that she can run her errands in it instead of one of those nasty old Volkswagens. Am I right? 🙂
LOL! (she *has* threatened to make me sleep in it more than once….)
Some (like Deere) kept the colors constant. Case used to use an orange and switched to a grey and Ford, a bit of everything. The New Hollands (who bought the Ford line) are in blue. The last Case-International tractor I saw was a bit of a maroonish-red.
I think that just about all of the industrial heavy metal is yellow. Caterpillar started with that, and it caught on. FWIW, the previous color for Cat was a medium grey–not a good color to be doing roadwork in the fog.
Fergies were grey until Massey Harris bought into ferguson then after service all the bonnets were painted red and that colour scheme continues today. Highway yellow has been adopted world wide for highway machines for visibility