Trucks & Heavy Equipment | 13 June 2016The Tractor Factor: 4 Rare Vintage Farm Tractors Share article facebook twitter google pinterest When it comes to classic farm tractors, everyone with an interest in the subject has their own idea of what brand and model should top the list. Collectible tractors span a wide-ranging history of innovation and design, and when author and tractor historian Robert N. Pripps set out to write The Tractor Factor: The World’s Rarest Classic Farm Tractors, he embarked on the enjoyable challenge of whittling that list down to 100 of the rarest and most interesting tractors. From legacy “senior” tractors and luminaries of the 1920s to collectible tractors on a petite scale, The Tractor Factor brings these machines and their heyday in history vividly to life. ………. 1914 Allis-Chalmers 10-18. Known simply as the “Farm Tractor,” this three-wheel design was A-C’s third design, although the first two did not see production. The 4,800-pound machine was capable of pulling three 14-inch plows. The engine had two cylinders; the transmission had only one speed and reverse. The 10-18 boasted a one-piece steel frame that “would not sag.” About 2,700 were made. Photo credit: Ralph W. Sanders / The Tractor Factor 1914 Allis-Chalmers 10-18 The Allis-Chalmers 10-18 (10 horsepower on the drawbar, 18 on the belt pulley) was powered by a two-cylinder, horizontally opposed engine mounted transverse, or cross-mounted, with the clutch, gearing, and belt pulley on the left side. It was a three-wheel design, popular at the time, with a single front wheel in line with the right drive wheel. This allowed the front and right rear wheel to run in the plow furrow for easier maintenance of the line of draft. The smaller upper cylindrical tank was for gasoline for starting; the lower tank was for kerosene, the normal operating fuel. The 303-ci engine was equipped with a centrifugal governor and operated at 720 rpm. A high-tension impulse magneto was fitted. The transmission gave only one speed forward and one in reverse. Top speed was just under 3 mph. Although the 10-18 looked light, it tipped the scales at 4,800 pounds. Extant pictures taken in 1915 show the 10-18 pulling a plow with three 14-inch bottoms. The 10-18 was also known simply as the “Farm Tractor” in company advertising. It was built in A-C’s West Allis, Wisconsin, factory. It was their third attempt at a tractor design; the first was a rototiller outfit, and the second was a tracked (crawler) vehicle called the Tractor-Truck. These, along with the 10-18, had short terms of production because of low sales. Allis-Chalmers went on to become a major player in the American tractor industry. ………. 1919 International 8-16. The drawbar rating was 8 horsepower, with 16 horsepower available from the belt pulley. Photo credit: Ralph W. Sanders / The Tractor Factor 1919 International 8-16 In a stark break from the past, International Harvester introduced this smaller, lighter tractor in 1917, replacing the two-cylinder 8-16 Mogul. Mogul tractors were sold by McCormick dealers in those days while Deering dealers had a comparable but different Titan line. With the International 8-16, both the McCormick and Deering names were dropped and the so-called competing dealerships were eliminated. Production continued through 1922, with many experimental variations tried along the way, including a full crawler version. Initially, the price was $1,150, but with competition from Henry Ford’s Fordson in the 1922 tractor price war, the price dropped to $670 with a two-bottom Little Wonder plow thrown in for good measure. The entire design of the International 8-16 was taken from the International Type G truck. It used the same overhead-valve, four-cylinder engine with the radiator and fan in back over the flywheel housing, and the same hood sheet metal. The engine displaced 284 ci and operated at 1,000 rpm. It was equipped with a Dixie magneto and an Ensign carburetor. A three-speed transmission gave speed of 2, 3, and 4 mph. Final drive was by roller chain. It weighed in for its University of Nebraska Tractor Test (No. 25) at 3,360 pounds. International built more than 33,000 Model 8-16s in the Chicago Tractor Works plant, where they also built the line of Mogul tractors. ………. 1929 Irish Fordson. The venerable Fordson was in need of an upgrade when production was transferred to Ireland for the second time, in 1928. A high-tension magneto was added, as was a water pump. The engine displacement increased and heavy cast front wheels helped the balance problem. An optional electrical system became available with self-starting and lights. Photo credit: Ralph W. Sanders / The Tractor Factor 1929 Irish Fordson A food crisis loomed in Great Britain during the early stages of World War I, due in large part to the attacks on shipping by German U-boats. The British Ministry of Munitions mounted an all-out plowing campaign to increase the acreage devoted to the growing of grains for food. Henry Ford was invited to send over 6,000 of his newly developed Fordson tractors. Ford agreed to not only send the first of his factory’s production to Britain, he also offered to establish a factory in Cork, Ireland, and to make a gift of all patents and drawings. Problems of many kinds prevented the production of Irish Fordsons until the first one rolled off the assembly line on July 4, 1919. Then political problems developed in 1922 when the British government imposed restrictions on industrial products from the recently created Irish Free State. So production was curtailed in Cork until it was revived again in 1929. The 1929 Irish Fordson was an entirely new machine. Now labeled the Fordson N, it replaced the original, which was called the Fordson F. Cork production began with serial number 757369 and ended in 1932 at serial number 779135. Thus there were fewer than 28,000 N Irish tractors produced, accounting for their special interest to tractor buffs. Changes to the Fordson N engine included an increase in the cylinder bore, from 4 inches to 4.125 inches, to increase the displacement from 251 ci to 267 ci; a high compression head; a gasoline carburetor; a water pump; a high-tension impulse magneto; a new heavy front axle; and cast, heavy front wheels. These changes corrected most of the problems inherent in the Fordson F and greatly improved its performance. ………. 1939 Cletrac General GG. They say success has many fathers, so the little GG must be considered a successful tractor as it carried several brand names besides Cletrac, including mail-order house Montgomery Ward. A crawler version, the HG, was also offered by Cletrac in 1939. The base price for the GG in 1939 was $595 FOB Cleveland. Photo credit: Ralph W. Sanders / The Tractor Factor 1939 Cletrac General GG Cleveland Tractor Company (Cletrac) brought out its only wheeled tractor, a small, lightweight unit called the General GG. It was built by B. F. Avery & Co. of Louisville, Kentucky, for Cletrac and produced in small quantities until 1946, when B. F. Avery bought the rights and renamed it the Avery A. The A, like the General GG, had only a single front wheel, but in 1946, Avery added a wide-front version called the V. In 1951 Minneapolis- Moline took over Avery and kept producing the little tractors as the M-M BF. Other than the front-end configuration, little was changed on the tractor over the years. It was built on a conventional rail frame. Like the Allis-Chalmers B, it had a driveshaft in a tunnel to the three-speed transmission with the shift lever between the driver’s knees and individual brake levers on the fenders. The steering shaft was slightly angled to the left to pass the engine. A Hercules four-cylinder L-head engine, with 132.7 cid was used throughout. It produced about 20 horsepower. A self-starter and lights were optional. The tractor weighed 2,800 pounds in working trim. Buy from an Online Retailer US: UK: With tractor historian Robert N. Pripps, take a close look at some of the most collectible vintage tractors from the United States, the UK, Germany, Holland, France, and other countries. Vintage farm tractors are revered throughout the world as the source of mechanical labor, allowing the revolution of farming to take place in the twentieth century. Some of the most interesting tractors are also the rarest, since they were produced in very small quantities. These include one-of-a-kind modified models; very, very old machines; and models produced by one of the many companies that made tractors for only a short time. The Tractor Factor is a richly illustrated book that reveals what makes a tractor collectible, showcases the rarest models, gives a history of the marque, and details specific finds. Robert N. Pripps, a leading tractor historian, covers models from the United States, the UK, Germany, Holland, France, and other countries. Pripps’ expertise, paired with the stunning photography of Ralph W. Sanders and Andrew Morland, makes The Tractor Factor a book no fan of these paradigm-changing machines will want to miss! Robert N. Pripps has authored and co-authored dozens of farm tractor books, including Classic Farm Tractors, Vintage Ford Tractors, Big Book of Caterpillar, Big Book of Massey, and more. Pripps lives near Park Falls, Wisconsin, where he owns a maple syrup farm. Photographer-author Ralph W. Sanders has photographed tractors for more than 40 years. Ralph grew up on an Illinois farm where he had ample opportunity to “exercise” a 1933 Farmall F-12 and 1948 Farmall C, as well as a Farmall H, Farmall MD, and McCormick W-6. He has worked for Prairie Farmer; Successful Farming; and as a full-time freelance agricultural photographer for Deere & Co., Massey-Ferguson, Kinze Mfg., Vermeer Mfg., DuPont Ag, Monsanto Ag, and others. Sanders is the author of several books from Voyageur Press. He lives in West Des Moines, Iowa. Andrew Morland is a freelance photojournalist. He is the photographer of numerous Voyageur Press tractor books, including The Bigger Book of John Deere, Vintage Ford Tractors, and Classic Tractors of the World. He lives in Somerset, England. Share article facebook twitter google pinterest If you have any comments on this article please contact us or get in touch via social media.