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The auction class of 2021: Where are they now?

Our partners over at Tractor Zoom saw some interesting machines come in throughout the year.

Today we take a look back at some of the trucks, tractors, and various farming equipment with the most unique stories from 2021 and check what they sold for. 

Most creative: 1975 John Deere 4030 Gas/Syncro/Standard

One of a kind deere 4030 tractor

Steve Plambeck, a noted John Deere historian, was the seller of this 1975 John Deere 4030 — which he said might be the rarest 4030 on the planet. By 1973, gas-powered big tractors were on their way out, so Deere built a total of 222 4030s to see how they would do. 

Only 122 of these had Syncro Range transmissions. What makes this one so rare is that it’s a factory standard configuration. Plambeck said he’s never seen another one like this in all his years as a collector. Maybe it’s not its own unique snowflake, but it is certainly one out of 122, which still made this one pretty rare. Because of how one-of-a-kind and niche this 4030 was, we had no idea what it would sell for. 


Most likely to be a supermodel: IHC 1468

Jerry Mez 1486

These tractors were all glamor muscles. Sure they looked good, and that V-8 engine put Massey on top of the horsepower game in 1971, but that’s not all a farmer needs in a tractor. The engine wouldn’t start in cold weather, would vibrate at low RPM, and had a bit of a smoking problem — none of that’s a big deal, right?

This particular 1468 was part of the Farmall Land collection, displayed at the museum in Avoca, Iowa, before it closed in 2020 when Jerry Mez retired. This type of tractor sold on the cheap for years, at maybe $3,000 to $4,000.

FINAL IHC 1468 SALE PRICE: $30,000

Hardest worker: Minneapolis Moline G1355

Yellow tractor
Photo credit: Tractorzoom

This tractor never quite knew what it was. It was the first Moline tractor built in Charles City, Iowa, coupling Moline’s motors with Oliver’s rear end components. Not only that, the G1355 was also sold under three other models, sold in three different paint jobs, and under the 2270 in Canada.

Despite the identity crisis, this was the most powerful two-wheel-drive tractor Moline ever built, making nearly 143 horsepower. 

This specific tractor was sold by Gavin Bros. Auction & Real Estate. While this G1355 needed a little bit of cosmetic TLC, we estimated it would sell for somewhere between $8,000 and $10,000. 


Best dressed: 1997 Ford F-250

1997 Ford F-250 Powerstroke

Ford’s been producing the F-Series since 1948 and they’re now in their 14th generation of production. Tractor Zoom sees maybe 75-80 F-250s sell in auctions every month. This F-250, however, was a bit of a unicorn. The original owner of this truck bought it at a Ford dealer Ashland, Wisconsin, in 1997, but only put 15,000 miles on it before he passed away. Then it was stowed away in safe-keeping by his grandson until it was sold to a new owner in Grand Island, Nebraska, about eight years ago.  

This particular F-250 is pretty light on features. A regular split bench seat, AM/FM cassette deck, cruise control, electric windows, mirrors, but that’s about it. Even though it’s so bare bones on features, with such a low mileage we expected it to sell for $40,000 to $45,000.

FINAL 1997 Ford F-250 SALE PRICE: $60,300

Best personality: Allis Chalmers 7080

A red tractor ready for auction
Photo credit: Tractor Zoom

Allis Chalmers had a bit of a marketing problem in the 1960s. Their three-digit series were just as good as any other tractor on the market, farmers saw them as old news. Sales dwindled, dealers complained, and thus the 7000 Series was born. While these new tractors may have been a bit too “modern” looking for dealers, they got over it fast once they realized the quality. This series had an all-new powertrain, overbuilt components, great brakes, a hydraulic clutch, and a lot more.

This 7080 was part of the collection on display at the Lois & Ralph Cole Museum near Storm Lake, Iowa. Lois and Ralph were married and farmed on Ralph’s land his family owned since 1886. It was always their dream to open a museum, but sadly they never had the chance. At 80 years old Mildred, Lois’ sister, started work to open that museum, which displayed mostly equipment owned by Ralph and Lois, or Mildred and her late husband, George.

The 7080 on sale was one of two they owned, and featured a horse logo on the hood, designed by Lois herself. While the tractor has been repainted, it was in good condition, and mostly original with just over 4,000 hours on it. We expected this one to sell for $8,500 to $9,000.


Most Dependable: 320S Southern Special

John Deere 320s tractor
Photo credit: TractorZoom

John Deere only built 48 320S Southern Specials like this one, a built-to-order tractor primarily for vegetable farmers in Florida, Louisiana, and Texas. The Southern Special offered an extra 10 inches of ground clearance over the standard model — a good compromise for growers in the Southern states who needed a thrifty tractor for their vegetable crops.

This tractor was available for auction in Iola, Wisconsin, and it was a good looker too. All the boxes were checked for a good restoration, it was run through a Two Cylinder Club verification, and had the serial tag reissued by John Deere — which was no easy task. While the 320s usually go for around $6,000, we expected this one to go for around $12,000.


Most athletic: Antonio Carraro 9400 TRH 

Carrora tractor selling at Iowa auction

The 9400 might be the smallest farm tractors on the planet. Built for orchard and vineyard farming in Italy, this small, nimble tractor gets its “billy goat” nickname for its ability to remain stable on the steep hills it harvests. 

This particular tractor is a 2010 Antonio Carraro model 9400 TRH, stands just under 7 feet tall, and had less than 1,500 hours on it at time of auction. The tractor was owned by a grower around Traverse City, Michigan, who decided to retire after 75 years of farming their vineyard. We expected this to sell for less than $30,000.


Most studious: IH Black Stripe 766

IH Black Stripe 766
Photo credit: TractorZoom

The 766 was the smallest of the big-frame 66-Series tractors (although the wheelbase was only a couple inches shorter than the 1066), and it was also the one that Harvester made the fewest of. Harvester made a gas and diesel version, and while the gas version was a guzzler, it could start in the coldest of temperatures. 

This IH Black Stripe 766, sold by Milo Jedlicka in Schuyler, Nebraska, has a tremendously detailed 37-year service history. He bought it from Victors Equipment in Fremont, Nebraska, in 1984, and kept an extremely detailed maintenance log in notebook (sold with the tractor) for it since. With an estimate of only about 5,000 service hours and great physical condition, we suspected it would sell for over $15,000.


Most improved: IH 4366

International Harvester 4366 hero image auction tractor

Steiger had worked itself into a corner in the early 1970s. The company had grown too quickly and between salaries and development costs, they couldn’t pay to keep the doors open. Steiger’s miracle came from Harvester in 1972. They wanted a prototype and they wanted it fast. Most tractors take years to develop. Steiger agreed to build the 4366 in 110 days. We won’t spoil the whole story, but safe to say, Steiger delivered. All that, however, and the 4366 was still far from perfect, with many failures coming from the parts IH supplied. 

The 4366 that was up for auction was sold out of Minnesota, with about 3,000 hours on it. Besides a new cab kit and some touch-up paint, this machine looked pretty original. This type of machine usually sells for around $5,300, but this one was a bit nicer, so we estimated a sale price around the range of $7,500 to $8,000. 

FINAL IH 4366 SALE PRICE: $6,300

Most professional: 1987 Ford LTL 9000

1987 Ford LTL 9000 A

The Ford LTL 9000 series came out in the mid-70s when Ford decided to play in the long-haul game with Kenworth and Peterbilt. The trucks were well-built but didn’t come with the same kind of options for powertrains and drivelines and as a result, didn’t sell well. 

This truck is a 1987 model day cab that sold out of Ashland, Nebraska, restored by the owner in 2013. It’s powered by one of the best analog power plants you can get, too — the venerable CAT 3406B. It’s not quite tuned up like a Michigan Special, but at 435 horsepower, it could pull hopper bottom on the back just fine.

FINAL 1987 FORD LTL 9000 SALE PRICE: $20,200

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