The first and the last of the line
Museum visitors will get a look at the first Farmall Regular ever sold in row-crop configuration to the general public, no. QC503.
“It was sold to Roy Murphy, West Burlington, Iowa, March 1, 1924,” says owner Jerry Mez, “and was used on that farm for years. International Harvester Co. got it back and restored it, and it’s in real decent shape.” The tractor has been pictured in C.H. Wendel’s 150 Years of International Harvester and Randy Leffingwell’s Farmall: Eight Decades of Innovation.
The second featured item for 2009 is the last tractor built at the Rock Island, Ill., Farmall plant. Built May 14, 1985, the 5488 all-wheel drive (no. 4452) was never sold and looks like new. “It’s more important to me than the first one ever built,” Jerry says, “because it meant the end of an era. After that, the company was taken over by Tenneco Inc.”
Acquisition of the two tractors, which are on loan from Case New Holland for this year only, was no easy task. “It took 10 months of negotiating and working and figuring out how to make it happen,” he says. “I don’t think the whole invasion of Normandy took as much work to get set up as getting these two tractors out here.”
Special features in the future may include the IH experimental turbine tractor, the white 1066 shown at the IH winter convention and the 5 millionth Farmall tractor. “I have those dreams,” Jerry says, “but I don’t know how they’re going to work out. Time will tell.” FC
Read more about the Farmall-Land museum: “International Harvester Museum Brought to Life.”Bill Vossler is a freelance writer and author of several books on antique farm tractors and toys. Contact him at Box 372, 400 Caroline Ln., Rockville, MN 56369; e-mail: email@example.com.