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Reliable 30 Series still bring strong bids

Since last fall, I’ve been
heading out to machinery auctions all over the country to shoot video for my
new YouTube channel on Some videos feature late-model
equipment; other videos show equipment in not-so-great shape. Both the big and
the little are caught on tape. But the one common denominator at all these
auctions has been the great stories behind the equipment.

Good folks from Nebraska,
New Mexico, Wisconsin, Illinois, South Dakota, and Ohio love to talk used
equipment. Me too. We’re on the same page when we’re talking iron, whether it’s
about a 1-year-old combine with the latest GPS or a rusty 70-year-old tractor.
I shoot the video and post it for all to see on my website.

But Back To The Stories

Last summer I attended a
big-dealer auction in Davenport, Iowa. A line of 26 combines sold that day from
seven regional dealer groups.


Tim Colgan, a sales rep with
KSR Equipment in Lacon, Illinois, came up to visit with me as we moved down
that long line of 26 combines. Turns out Colgan has been using my data for a long time, but we’d never had the opportunity to
meet. We got to talking about the good old days of the farm equipment business.
Colgan’s dad, Joe, had been a dealer, as had my dad.

I’m not sure how it even
came up, but Colgan mentioned he had photos at home of the day in August 1972
when John Deere unveiled its new 30 Series tractors at a dealerships like his
dad’s. That would have been Colgan Company, a John Deere dealership in Wyoming,
Illinois. Colgan mentioned seeing a John Deere 4230 with cardboard over it,
waiting to be revealed to the world.

See for yourself in the
image below taken on August 19, 1972. Check out that revolutionary rounded cab
on the Model 4230.

Colgan sent me pictures and
I posted them on my Machinery Pete Facebook fan page. The images struck a nerve
with Scot Perry, a farmer from New York.

“Still have memories of this
event 38 years later,” Perry e-mails. “Dad worked for Greenwich Farm Supply,
which was the John Deere dealer in southwest Washington County, New York. On
Friday night, August 18,1972, we all piled into our car and Dad took us up to
the John Deere dealer. There were two big doors that would open for getting
equipment from the shop into the showroom. Those two big doors opened up and in
drove a brand-new sparkling clean 125-hp. Model 4430 and a 125-hp. Model 4430.

“What a surprise that was
both in the shop and the showroom. I remember the next day being at the open
house, and I remember who bought the 4430, as well. It went to Bob Moy in the
town of Easton, New York.”

It’s great fun to look back
and remember. It’s also fun to look at auction prices to see what 30 Series
John Deere tractors from 1973 to 1977 are worth now vs. five, 10, and 20 years
ago. See for yourself in the accompanying data tables.  

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