CC Outtakes: T87’s Singles Collection (Summer 2020) – Part 3: Tractor Special

Yes, tractors! Not the kind of vehicle one commonly finds in Tokyo, of course. But up in Hokkaido – even in towns, sometimes – those things are everywhere. This post is dedicated to Johannes Dutch, who will undoubtedly be instrumental in identifying some of these. An eclectic bunch, as we shall see, starting with this 1952 International Farmall.

This is the only tractor in this post whose model year I’m relatively confident about – it was written on a plaque. It was kind of difficult to take pictures of this one, as there were a bunch of kids playing on and around it (my kid included). That streamlined nose was designed by Raymond Loewy, apparently.

On a farm that mostly grew lavender and bred alpacas (the most random thing one cold ever conceive to find in Japan, really), there were two very cool British-made machines. This Fordson Super Dexta was remarkable – and remarkably well-preserved.

These were made in Dagenham from 1962 to 1964; some were sold in the US as the Ford 2000. The 3-cyl. Perkins engine only provided 32hp. That big chrome “Super Dexta” emblem is something to behold though. Almost looks like something out of the Eastern Bloc.

Next to the Fordson was its arch-rival, the Massey-Ferguson 35. According to Wikipedia, these were made in the US from 1955 and the UK a year later, both countries building these in substantial numbers until 1964. I’m not 100% sure about this, but it seems this one’s “FE 35” designation makes it a 1956-57.

It seems the Japanese obsession with goofy rear-view mirrors extended to farming vehicles. Both this M-F and the Fordson have them. That’s not necessarily the case with the other tractors I’ve seen here, though.

Here’s the local retort to these foreign devils: I think this might be a Kubota T15. This was the company’s first tractor, launched in 1960, though they had been in the business of making engines since the early ‘20s. Nowadays, there’s not a country in Asia where Kubotas aren’t used, especially for rice farming.

The “15” refers to the Kubota 2-cyl. Diesel engine’s horsepower – modest, but then the whole tractor only weighs 900kg. The key’s still in the ignition, too.

Last but certainly not least, at the old Sapporo brewery (in, well, Sapporo), was a lovely orange Fiat Diamante. We stupidly did not ensure that the museum that now occupies the old brewery was open before we made our way there, so of course it was closed. Still, the grounds were great and this ‘60s Fiat, plonked in front of the main building, made the trip sort of worthwhile. As did the “Genghis Khan” (i.e. lamb BBQ) outdoor restaurant, I guess.

Apparently, this series of Fiat-OM tractors, launched in 1963 and made until 1968, were the first of their kind to benefit from PininFarina’s handiwork. Some of these were manufactured by Kubota under license, though I have no idea where this one was built. That’s it for my first foray into the world of tractors, folks. Back to JDM oddities and whatever interesting foreign metal Tokyo throws my way.