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Tractor Collectors Look For Pre-Production Models
Todd Markle is an active collector of Farmall tractors and is constantly on the lookout for interesting or unique variations and models. One such piece of equipment is a pre-production tractor that was built as a test prototype.
The Farmall A was the cheapest tractor in the IH lineup. When they began manufacturing these models, constructing prototypes was expensive, so only a few were built. There were no computers to create images and promotional materials so actual prototypes were manufactured and photographed for customers to view them in action.
“Any pre-production tractor that survived is rare,” says Markle. “Normally, these prototypes were destroyed as production parts were often updated and modified to correct weak points and faults found in testing. It would have cost the company extra money to make custom parts for these prototypes.”
He says some unique features of the Farmall A pre-production models were white stripes on grilles, a lack of serial numbers, solid wheel discs instead of spokes, different fuel tank shapes and supports, and distinctive seats and upholstery fastenings.
Sharp-eyed collectors have found exclusive features not used in actual production machines by studying the early promotional photographs.
“As collectors, we’re always on the lookout for unusual tractors,” Markle says. “It’s hard to qualify, but sometimes the pre-production units can be much more valuable than the normal run-of-the-mill models. The rare ones bring a lot. Still, it takes the right collector being interested.”
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Todd Markle, 3536 Penns Valley Road., Spring Mills, Penn. 16875 (farmallgray@aol.com)

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2023 - Volume #47, Issue #2