Ahead of August's auction, at Walworth in Wisconsin, USA, one of the most talked about tractors amongst the lots consigned was a 1939 Ford 9N. While the 9N isn't particularly rare in itself, what made this unit unusual was the fact it was from the initial production batch, and as such, had an aluminium bonnet, grille and side skirts, as well as other items like steering columns and timing covers. Aluminium wasn't the preferred choice, but due to delays in tooling, the first 700 9Ns built in 1939 featured cast aluminium parts, including bonnet and grille sections, instead of stamped steel.
As you'd expect, the aluminium grilles and bonnets were easily damaged in general farming activity, so most were replaced with steel components, which had become available by the time most farmers had a need for them. This in turn has made any 9N tractor still fitted with its original aluminium components very rare indeed. One estimate put the number of survivors at no more than 35 of the original 700 built.
The lot on offer had followed the trend of recently restored examples of the early Ford 9N in stripping the paint off the aluminium sections and polishing them to a glimmering appearance. Sale price for this unit was US$29,500. The desirability of the early, aluminium-panelled 9Ns was reinforced by the fact a restored 1950 model 9N only made US$3,250, while a 1942 model in original condition was passed in.
Top seller amongst all lots at the August 3 - 4 Gone Farmin' auction was a 1937 John Deere 62, which sold for US$52,000. Rarer than the Ford 9N, the 62 model was only produced for 1937, and only 79 units were built, so it's considered amongst the most collectable US-built tractors. This particular 62, offered in fully restored condition with bottom plow cultivators, was from the collection of Gary Holland, and was one of six John Deeres consigned for this auction by the Illinois-based enthusiast and John Deere dealer.
Following the success of Gone Farmin', Mecum will expand these auctions from their now traditional base at Walworth to a new auction and new location at Davenport, Iowa. Full details on all lots from August's Gone Farmin' auction, plus details of upcoming auctions can be viewed at www.mecum.com
Images: Courtesy of Mecum Auctions