Wednesday, April 09, 2008
Old tractors like this one are exerting a new kind of pull. As collecting interests a broader, wealthier audience, prices for many models, especially those more than 40 years old, have surged. Some of the oldest tractors -- early 20th-century machines often powered by steam -- can now fetch $100,000 or more, up from about $10,000 a decade ago. Rarer models can sell for much more.
While farmers have dominated the antique-tractor market in the past, they are now bidding against a new, well-heeled breed of collector. The influx mirrors the trend of city slickers buying up farmland for vacation homes in rural parts of the country.
And dig this cool rig! More spaceship than farm equipment, this sweetly restored McCormick-Deering Orchard Tractor has smooth bodywork designed to keep wheels, gears and protruding parts from damaging delicate fruit trees.
Kinda reminds me of my first tractor seen here in this shot from back in 1963.
Check out the rest of Jonathan Welsh's story over at the Wall Street Journal.