Vintage Tractor Values Continue to Rise

Rare models of vintage tractors and equipment retain their value

| November 1998

  • This restored McCormick I-30 (Industrial) with new tires recently sold for $2,200 at a King Auction Service sale at Columbia City, Ind.
    This restored McCormick I-30 (Industrial) with new tires recently sold for $2,200 at a King Auction Service sale at Columbia City, Ind.
  • Bruce Brooks sold this 1947 restored John Deere A at a recent Nebraska auction for $3,000
    Bruce Brooks sold this 1947 restored John Deere A at a recent Nebraska auction for $3,000
  • Bruce Brooks' 1959 JD 730 with umbrella and original paint (at left in the photo) sold for $5,600. His JD 720 with dozer blade and original paint (far right) brought $4,500.
    Bruce Brooks' 1959 JD 730 with umbrella and original paint (at left in the photo) sold for $5,600. His JD 720 with dozer blade and original paint (far right) brought $4,500.

  • This restored McCormick I-30 (Industrial) with new tires recently sold for $2,200 at a King Auction Service sale at Columbia City, Ind.
  • Bruce Brooks sold this 1947 restored John Deere A at a recent Nebraska auction for $3,000
  • Bruce Brooks' 1959 JD 730 with umbrella and original paint (at left in the photo) sold for $5,600. His JD 720 with dozer blade and original paint (far right) brought $4,500.

Whether you're interested in buying a vintage tractor for restoration, or possibly in selling one, you've likely noticed a jump in values in recent years. Some early leaders like the John Deere B's maybe haven't risen as much (unless they're early or rare models), but others – like the International Harvester Model H – have nearly doubled in the past five years.

Prices vary a lot according to location, condition and number of bidders.

Donald R. King, who heads King Auction Service, South Whitley, Ind., says that most vintage tractors have seen steady price increases recently, both those needing restoration, and those fully restored.

"For complete parts tractors that are fairly rare or uncommon, the market is up," he says. "People are very much seeking out rarer ones like orchards, high crops and the like, regardless of the condition."



Greg Peterson, publisher of the F.A.C.T.'S Report, says price woes in agricultural markets haven't spread to vintage tractors.

"With grain and cattle prices sagging further as 1998 wears on, the market value of used working farm equipment has begun to suffer as well," he says. "But one area of the used equipment market that has withstood the sagging prices has been the antique tractor market. Driven by collectors, as well as the 'fixer-uppers', the market value of vintage tractors has steadily been on the rise throughout the 1990s."