Choose Reliable Antique Tractors for the Homestead

George DeVault explains how inexpensive and reliable antique tractors are the best choice when it comes to the rigors of farming your homestead.

| April/May 2002

Choose inexpensive and reliable antique tractors, these sturdy old gray tractors get the job done for the homestead.

"What kind of guarantee comes with this?" I asked, suspiciously eyeing the few drops of oil on the pavement under the rear axle of an old gray Ford tractor.

"Well, none, actually," replied the man who had it sitting out by the road with a for sale sign. "What you see is what you get where is, as is."

The tractor in question was a 1946 Ford x 2N. The four-cylinder engine had been overhauled a few years earlier, he said. Then an old Pennsylvania-Dutchman, who probably bought it new when Truman was president, traded it in on a new Kubota.

The old gray tractors-the result of a partnership that later dissolved into the separate Ford and Ferguson lines revolutionized postwar farming. These classics have held up to time, held onto collectors' hearts and held their value ever since.

The roadside seller's price was $1,795. That was about 2 1/2 times what the Ford cost new in 1946. But it was also about the going rate at the time. So even though the tractor was older than me or my wife, Melanie, we bought it on the spot after a test drive.

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