Museum Classics: The Israeli Tractors and Agricultural Machinery Collection, Part 1

About a month ago I discovered this private, yet completely accessible museum, dedicated to the tractors that roamed the agricultural settlements and Kibbutzim of Israel years ago. And what d’ya know, it was only about 30 km from where I live. I photographed many photos there for your pleasure, so this will be a post divided in two.


From early beginnings, decades before Israel was formed as a country, it was very much agricultural, be it Arabs plowing the land with horses, or Jews that came from Europe in the late 19th century and started “mechanizing” the fields with tractors . Small villages, (be it settlements, pronounced Moshavim, or the famous Kibbutzim, based on socialist ideas, where everything belongs to everyone) had vast acres of lands, and it was simply unreasonable to rely on farmyard animals to work all these fields. Also, as with the rest of the world, mechanizing was progress (nowadays agriculture in Israel has narrowed considerably, as the nation has turned to hi-tech industry some twenty-five years ago, and never looked back- but I digress).

Farmyard equipment was imported from virtually everywhere, even post-war (and post-Holocaust) Germany in the 1950s. Every Moshav and Kibbutz had different types of tractors, and all were usually worked down to the bone. It wasn’t rare to witness some 30 years old tractors still at hard work, as long as they were maintained properly (well, almost). When done, they were mostly discarded or sold as junk, not being addressed to as vehicles that might have some classic significance in the future (sounds familiar, right?). So, much like many cars of old, slowly but surly they vanished.

As for the museum, this private-collection-turned-into-a-museum started with one man. A former farmer from Ein Verd village, Erez Milshtein, had a soft spot for old tractors, and slowly started gathering them, along with parts and other farmyard equipment, to be restored by him and countless other friends and farmers. Many old farmers joined this venture, which essentially formed into a voluntary association that throughout the years, has been handling the museum’s collection, funds and what not. You can read more about it in the museum’s modest website.

Before you delve into the photos, I must put up a disclaimer: I know almost nothing about tractors, not to mention other farmyard equipment, however I did think posting this on CC would appeal to many of you. So under advisement from CC’s top writers, I’m posting the photos here with minimal content from myself, but with anticipation to any, most welcome comments from the CC community.

Starting the exhibition is this yet-to-be-restored 1934 Lanz Bulldog Crawler with its unique Hot-Bulb engine.

1953 M.A.N Ackerdiesel 4X4.

A most familiar vehicle, a John Deere 110 Garden Tractor.

1954 Energic 525.

1954 Ford 601 Workmaster.

As you can see, crawlers were also used widely, represented here by 1951 International TD-9 and 1952 International TD-6.

1951 Allis-Chalmers HD-5 Crawler.

1947 Empire 90, based on WWII Jeep mechanicals.

1956 Fiat 70C Crawler.

Now that’s more familiar to me. Although this 1968 Massey Ferguson 165 was born three years before I was, I still remember these tractors working away during the early 1980s.

1947 John Deere B.

1947 Farmall Cub.

1952 Allis-Chalmers HD-7 Crawler.

1951 Ursus C45, a Polish tractor based on (a better term night be “copied from”) the Lanz Bulldog at the top of this post.

1949 Panzer Garden Tractor and 1952 Allis-Chalmers WD.

1945 Allis-Chalmers G.

1957 Fiat 411R 4X4.

1950 Allis-Chalmers CA.

This one is also a familiar sight from my childhood, a 1965 John Deere 3020.

1956 Fiat 513R.

1957 Fordson Major Diesel and 1958 Fordson Super Major.

1958 Fordson Super Major.

1946 Ferguson TE-20.

1946 Ford 8N.

1946 Ford 8N.

1947 Steyr T180. As you can see, even back then those Austrian tractors were used despite the then-recent Holocaust.

1963 Fiat 80C Crawler.

I don’t have the exact year but I believe this Ford 7610 is from the 1970s, judging by its square shape alone.

1944 McCormick International WD-9.

1936 Oliver 80, equipped with wheels designed for grip in the mud.

This Ferguson TE-20 was painted according to a children’s book about a tractor, and called “The tractor in the sand box“.

1946 and 1963 Deutz D40.

Most of us know this well, a 1937 Ford F15A CMP that arrived in Israel way back during WWII, and abandoned here by the British.

1946 and 1963 Deutz D40

1956 David Brown 2D Rowcrop Tractor

1951 Caterpillar D4 Crawler

1964 Eicher ES 202

1958 Fordson Dexta

1955 Farmall 230

1941 Whitehouse Bentley Mechanical Mule

1953 Farmall Super C

1958 UTB U-650

This 1951 “Za’atut 9” and its successor “Za’atut 10” below were produced by Israel even before the Susita. They used Kohler generator engines and as you can see, were very small, hence the name (“Za’atut” translat into “toddler”). Try as I might, I couldn’t find any other info about these tractors, even at the museum’s website.

1953 Za’atut 10

1938 Case D

More mud wheels, this time on a 1947 Fordson Major Diesel

And I’ll end with another Austrian, this 1961 Steyr T188. More to come in part two.