A Family Heirloom

A 1931 Fordson, a family heirloom, restored for the next generation


| February 1999



Butch Howe's 1931 Fordson was one of a handful produced that year at a plant in Cork, Ireland.

Butch Howe's 1931 Fordson was one of a handful produced that year at a plant in Cork, Ireland.

Photo by Raymond "Butch" Howe

When you hear the words "family heirloom," you're likely to think of a fading photograph, aging china, or a tissue-soft quilt. But for Raymond "Butch" Howe, Ballston Spa, N.Y., the words summon a vision of a tractor made in Ireland years ago.

His treasure is a 1931 Fordson, serial number 772770.

"A neighbor bought it new, which was quite a thing locally, as it was during the Depression, and nobody had any money," he said.

More than 20 years later, in the mid-1950s, Butch's father bought the tractor for $50.

"I recall the day he drove it home," he said. "I rode alongside on my bicycle. In order to get it home, he had to go about a quarter of a mile on a paved road. Of course, the Fordson had steel wheels, which marked up the road pretty good."

Into its third decade, the Fordson was a good tractor, but it started hard.

Larry S Saint Cyr
6/21/2009 7:57:33 AM

Butch, Nice story about you dad Fordson I did enjoy it. I'm looking at a 1934 Fordson all most the same as Butch dad's but this model has rubber wheel. I'm trying to find out the value of these old Fordson Tractors. This one is all ready restored and the seller is looking for about $2300 for it. Is that a good deal or not? And the sell indicated it was made in the US but reading Butch's story it sound like it was made over in England. So how can one tell where this tractor was made? Look forward to other stories on old tractors. Larry