The whispering giant of a tractor

Oliver 2150 was a big horsepower tractor that produced a small sound

They say every tractor has a story, and I’m a storyteller – so let’s tell tractor stories!

The tractors I write about here are currently up for auction – and you can bid! I think they’re cool, and I hope you will, too! This is Interesting Iron!

America’s farming landscape exploded in the late 1960s, and drove the demand for more capable equipment. Every manufacturer in the country was scrambling to build bigger, heavier-duty machines. Farmers needed tractors that could efficiently hustle through heavy tillage with a seven- or eight-bottom plow ... and they didn’t want to have their eardrums blown out in the process. In short, they needed innovation in machinery to support the continuing innovation of modern farming practices.
The customer had spoken, and Oliver listened.

The result was the 2150, released in 1968.

Oliver 2150 tractor

This was the big horse in the 50-series lineup, and it had all the right stuff, too. Big power and torque from a turbocharged Hercules 478, an 18-speed Hydraul-Shift transmission, and a beefy, overbuilt chassis so operators didn’t lose traction in the field!

The icing on the cake? According to Oliver, these new tractors were “whisper quiet”!

Whether they were or not is up for debate; I mean, after testing a 1950 with a two-stroke Detroit, I’m pretty sure everybody who worked for Oliver was in the process of going deaf by then, right?

The 2150 was only in production for parts of two years (14 months, if we’re being picky), but it led the horsepower race for both of ’em! Oliver didn’t make a ton of these tractors, either. So finding a 2150 is fairly rare.

Here’s how the numbers break out for the 2150’s total production of 1,018 tractors built:

  • 373 with front-wheel drive
  • 887 as Oliver tractors
  • 19 as Oliver/White 4-144 (and 4-144 Extra Heavy-Duty variants)
  • 112 under the Cockshutt brand

This is definitely one of the rarer Olivers out there, but for quite a while the 2150 has flown under the collector crowd’s radar. It’s picked up a little over the past few years, but I think this one could still be purchased fairly reasonably. (As you’ll see when you look at the listing, it’ll need some TLC.) Underneath the surface rust and broken glass, though, there’s lots of potential! I’ll be excited to see what happens with this tractor! 

The auction doesn’t happen until September 12, but the online bidding is live right now at Sykora Auction Service (

Thus far the bidding sits at a whopping $55. I doubt it’ll stay that way for long, though.

If you’re bidding on it, good luck! If you end up buying it, drop me a line at:

For a little more detail on the 2150 model, click here to visit the Interesting Iron blog! I’ve got a few neat pieces of the advertising for this tractor posted there, along with some photos of another interesting 2150s we saw on Tractor Zoom last June (one of the 373 FWA models)!

Ryan Roossinck
Hi! I’m Ryan, and I love tractors. It doesn’t matter if it’s a showpiece, an oddball, or seen its share of life . . . if it’s unique and it’s listed by one of our auctioneer partners at Tractor Zoom (, I’m going to show it off a little bit! This equipment is all up for auction RIGHT NOW, so you can bid on them! I think they’re cool, and I hope you will, too. This is Interesting Iron!

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