A Hundred Years of Value
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The first NAA, introduced in 1953, was called the Golden Jubilee, in celebration of Ford Motor Co.'s 50th anniversary. The NAA represents the first of the new-engine design, but also the last of the 'single-model' tractors Ford produced. After it was on the market, Ford offered tractors that could be 'built' to a buyer's specifications. Buyers could choose engines types, transmission types and live PTO options just to name a few. The Hundred series (600, 700, 800, 501, 601, 701, 801, 901) machines continued to prove that Ford had a place on the farm, but the company would never again have the foothold it once did with the Fordson and the N series.
Small 'utility' tractors were designed to do many different chores on the farm, but, by 1969, the little gray Fords no longer solely owned that role. As competition grew from John Deere and Farmall, Ford's agricultural market share dwindled. By then, other manufacturers were using the three-point hitch that had once revolutionized Ford tractor designs. Likewise, other companies designed and built tractor implements that were formerly a hallmark of Ford engineering. Thus, Ford tractors lost their uniqueness within the competitive field. Some Ford innovations were still to come, such as the Select-O-Speed transmission.
Despite decades as a dominant tractor maker, Ford would never hold the same place it once did with the Fordson and the N series. Yet, Ford's innovations will always be remembered as long as old-iron collectors cherish the Michigan-born tractors.FC
- Robert Rinaldi is the publisher of the N-News magazine, a quarterly publication dedicated to vintage Ford farm tractors and machinery. Rob has been involved with old Fords since he was 8 years old. For more information about old Fords, contact him at N-News, P.O. Box 275 East Corinth, VT 05040, or visit the Web site at www.n-news.com
Further Ford Reading
Ford Farm Tractors by Randy Leffingwell
A Guide to Ford, Fordson, and New Holland Tractors 1907-1999 by Larry Cay
My Forty Years With Ford by C.E. Sorensen
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