How To Buy: A Ford N-Series Tractor 1939-1952

Dave Erb

(This article originally appeared in Volume 28 Number 1, Winter/January 2013) In this series of articles, N-News contributors share their lessons learned and observations in buying a used Ford tractor. Here, longtime contributor Dave Erb writes about his personal checklist for looking at a 9N, 2N or 8N to purchase. While all N models are fairly dependable, Dave says, as production continued into the fifties improvements to the tractor were undeniable. What follows are some pointers that will prove helpful for anyone pondering the purchase of one of these faithful tractors.

9N Redux

9N post-repair

Guy Silva worked for 30 years for a city water division, and over that time he ran a lot of Ford backhoes, which is how his interest in Ford tractors germinated. After working a northern Michigan property that he and his wife owned with a 1954 NAA, he sold it, but then after retirement he reconsidered. “I discovered I really missed having it around,” he says. Continue reading

Coming of Age With an 8N

Cornell Knutson in the field

My first memory of our tractors was from 1951, when I was about four years old. I was in the kitchen of our north Iowa farm home, watching out the window as a truck delivered a new tractor to our yard. It was the second 8N for our farm and the last tractor my dad would buy. Mom recalled that there had been a tractor on the farm when they were married in 1942. From her description, it must have been a 9N. Continue reading

A Piece of History Slips Away: Harold Brock Remembered

Portrait of Harold Brock

Harold Brock, Ford tractor icon, passed away January 2, 2011 at the age of 96 years. Harold was the engineer in charge of the design for the famous N-Series Ford tractors. Rob visited Harold Brock at his home in Waterloo, Iowa, where he sat down with Dr. Brock and led him to recall his time at Ford Motor Company and of his early life. Continue reading

Simple Tips and Tricks to Keep your N-Series Tractor Running

Tractor part: the governor

By Bruce Haynes with Chris Britton These tips evolved from a series of notes I had scribbled in my tractor manuals, shortly after I bought my first 8N in 1999. I compiled 50 of these tips in 2006 and they were published in the N News. During the past six years, I’ve added 25 more and edited and revised a number of the original 50 tips. While I gleaned many of these tips from first-hand experience, I owe a great debt to many other N owners for sharing their wisdom with me over the years. Read on for the first 38 of my 75 simple tips and tricks!

Collecting Seems to Be in Our Blood!

Bob May getting ready to load up the 8N

Collecting sure seems to be in Robert May’s blood! After all, it is hard to be interested in old tractors without eventually acquiring at least one piece of iron. Once bitten, the disease often leads to a chronic condition, and before you know it, the barn is full. Of course, collecting tractors is pretty benign compared to some other obsessions. Motorcycles, gambling and fast women are all much more likely to end in tragedy (or at least divorce court). So, in the big picture, an old iron hobby isn’t all that bad.