May 9, 2022
What Are The Top 5 Most Expensive Tractors?
For the past three decades the price of some of the most rare and unique antique tractors has steadily risen. Now many of these massive 100 year old pieces of history consistently sell for six figures.
We’ve put together our list of the top five highest priced antique tractors to sell at auction.
A Pioneer 30-60
The Pioneer Tractor Manufacturing company began building tractors in 1910 starting with the 30-60 or “30” model. The “30” is powered by a four-cylinder opposed gasoline engine with a 7” bore and an 8” stroke. The engine uses spark plug ignition and is cooled by a large automotive style radiator.
The company claimed it had a vibrationless motor and was demonstrated in an advertisement with a photo of a coin balanced on the frame while a photographer took a one minute exposure.
It has 96 inch tall rear drive wheels, making for an impressive stance and is one of the largest sizes used on tractors at the time. In 1913 a Pioneer 30 would have cost you $3,000.00 US dollars or about $86,000.00 US dollars today.
Only 14 of these Pioneer 30s are still known to exist.
This tractor sold on the 2022 Pre-’30 Auction for $456,750.00 US dollars.
An International Harvester Mogul Junior
The International Harvester Company released their first tractor, a single-cylinder gasoline engine with friction drive in 1906. Just 5 years later they released a 45 horsepower, two-cylinder opposed gasoline tractor called the 45 Mogul.
About the same time, they released the Mogul Junior which shares a similar to the 45 Mogul, but the Junior uses a single cylinder gasoline engine.
Instead of a spark plug, the engine uses an igniter with make and break ignition. It was rated at 25 horsepower on the belt and 15 horsepower on the drawbar.
Only 812 of these tractors were built and there are about half a dozen still known to exist.
This tractor sold at the Lake Side Farms Tractor & Engine Collection Auction in 2012 for $472,500.00 US dollars.
A Twin City 40-65
The Minneapolis Steel and Machinery Company was founded in 1902 to fabricate steel material for structures like bridges and water towers. The company didn’t release their first tractor, the “40” until 1912.
The Twin City 40 is powered by a 4-cylinder, vertical headless gasoline engine rated at 40 horsepower on the drawbar and 65 horsepower on the belt.
Production of the 40 continued until 1924, but by that time farmers had turned to smaller lightweight tractors. Only 825 of these tractors were produced and 17 are still known to exist.
Back in 1915 a Twin City 40 would have cost you about $3,250.00 US dollars or about $90,460.00 US dollars today.
This tractor sold on the 2022 Pre-’30 Auction for $493,500.00 US Dollars.
A 1910 Marshal Colonial Class C
These tractors were built by Marshall, Sons and Co. specifically for export to English colonies. Tractors were shipped to Canada, South Africa, India, and Australian markets.
This impressive example is a Class C that is powered by a vertical 2 cylinder gasoline engine and originally shipped to Canada.
It spent its working life in Saskatoon. Marshall had its own subsidiary in Saskatoon, the British Colonial Tractor Agency, which assembled tractors shipped from Gainsborough in crates.
Some 300 ‘Colonial’ tractors were built before production ended in late 1914 with the final batch going to Russia.
Although exact production numbers are unknown, they are low with just two complete tractors and one partial tractor remaining.
This tractors sold on the 2019 Pre-’30 Auction for $535,000 US Dollars
A 1913 Case 60-60
The J. I. Case Company was founded in 1842 by Jerome Case and started by building threshing machines, then became a leader in steam power.
Case quickly saw that the new internal combustion engine would take over steam power on the farm and in the early 1900s started experimenting with gas engines. In 1910 Case released their first gas tractor, The Case 60.
The basic construction was similar to their steam tractors, but this was powered by a two cylinder, horizontal, 1,884 cubic inch, gasoline engine rated at 60 horsepower.
The tractor has 6 foot diameter rear wheels and weighs in at 25,800 pounds, just shy of 13 tons. In 1913 a Case 30-60 would have cost you about $2,500 US dollars or about $71,721 US dollars today after adjusted for inflation.
Less than 500 of these tractors were built and this is one of just 5 known to exist.
This tractor sold on the 2022 Pre-’30 Auction for $1,470,000 US Dollars
So what do you think of these prices? Tell us in the comments.
by Dan Boomgarden, 2022