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Most expensive classic tractor......


dads706
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Anybody have any idea what the most expensive classic tractor was?  I saw a MM UDLX on Mecum brought $122,000 was their highest for 2020. But I doubt that was the highest of all time. My pea brain seems to remember something for $200k+.

That Waterloo Boy just got me thinking.

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My first thought when I saw the post was the UDLX. There was also an "open cab" version called the UDLX-OPN, I don't remember the exact number made, I think it might have been six or so. I imagine one of those would bring a pretty penny.

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Idk for sure, but I think there were some rare Dains that went for big bucks.

About a year ago or so, there was a cool rare tractor auction I was watching. Can't remember who hosted it. There was a Plymouth that went for big bucks.

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This might be the record for JD tractors.  Experimental GPWT for $170,000.  https://www.farmcollector.com/tractors/one-of-a-kind-rare-john-deere-discovered   The Dain tractor might have sold for more but I don't if it was ever disclosed what JD paid it.  However, a wrench for the Dain tractor went for $15,000.  https://yorknewstimes.com/news/antique-tool-brings-15-000-in-york-auction/article_181338d8-79a6-5efd-9539-8a4a1ddf56aa.html

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It hasn’t been sold since early 60’s but there is a Wallis bear owned by past Massey dealer about 50 miles from only one left I think #203 you can goolge it to see bet it would put an eye opening price if ever sold

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Most expensive tractor is one I bought. Coincidentally it was the cheapest one sold when I got rid of it. ...

;)

 

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The Graham Sellers collection, July 25 2020, Coldwater Michigan, Auman Actions on site & online. Nichols & Shepard 235,000. Rumley 180,000. About 40 more steamers, oil pulls, gas, and his 3588 he bought new.

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1 hour ago, dads706 said:

Anybody have any idea what the most expensive classic tractor was?  I saw a MM UDLX on Mecum brought $122,000 was their highest for 2020. But I doubt that was the highest of all time. My pea brain seems to remember something for $200k+.

That Waterloo Boy just got me thinking.

That ended up being bought by a local guy. The head of our local threshing bee called me up looking for a delco generator for a udlx. I said I will come over and take a look. Oddball generator that is gear driven off the timing gears. I jokingly said to him "it has a magneto, give it a full charge and you will get 20-25 starts out of it" I got the response "pay 100,000 and some thousand for a tractor, I want it to charge" They found a guy to rebuild it and it was at the show this summer. Beautiful tractor.

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11 hours ago, TP from Central PA said:

How many Dain's survived?  I always found them a heck of a setup, compared to the putt putt they built for decades.

I forget the exact story, but I know Deere wanted them back and destroyed a bunch. There was something about dynamite and sinking one in a lake, and I think one owner just straight up lied and never destroyed his. It honestly might be only one that survived.

I'm sure I'm butchering the details of the story. Don't quote me.

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I believe it was an Anderson who restored the only known complete Dain. He took it on a tour in the 1980's. It was even on display at the Empire mall in Sioux Falls. I have pictures somewhere of it there. His plaque board boldly stated "The tractor John Deere claims they never built" And guess who ended up buying from him?

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16 minutes ago, TP from Central PA said:

How many Dain's survived?  I always found them a heck of a setup, compared to the putt putt they built for decades.

From my sources, 2 complete ones and a chassis of a third one.  And like KWRB said JD went all out to destroy them.  Most JD experts think the Dain would have failed eventually due mainly to its price tag of $1,200 to $1,500.  Plus while it was superior technology wise it was also way more complicated higher maintenance design.  

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1 minute ago, Big Bud guy said:

From my sources, 2 complete ones and a chassis of a third one.  And like KWRB said JD went all out to destroy them.  Most JD experts think the Dain would have failed eventually due mainly to its price tag of $1,200 to $1,500.  Plus while it was superior technology wise it was also way more complicated design higher maintenance design.  

I had a book here with a number of chapters in it about Deere's early days in the tractor field, but I don't know where its at, probably still in a tote in my parents basement with alot of my books.  It was quite the read.  I thought I read in there though the tractors themselves were well liked, the board was the one who couldn't get over the price tag as they thought the competition would run over them.

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14 minutes ago, Big Bud guy said:

From my sources, 2 complete ones and a chassis of a third one.  And like KWRB said JD went all out to destroy them.  Most JD experts think the Dain would have failed eventually due mainly to its price tag of $1,200 to $1,500.  Plus while it was superior technology wise it was also way more complicated higher maintenance design.  

I found the 1980's pictures from Sioux Falls. The photo album gods smiled on me. I agree. It was complicated for it's time in 1917-1918 when farmers were making the jump from horses to a tractor and any maintenance to them was foreign. By the time the D was rolled out a lot had changed in 4-5 years.

002.jpg

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11 hours ago, TP from Central PA said:

I had a book here with a number of chapters in it about Deere's early days in the tractor field, but I don't know where its at, probably still in a tote in my parents basement with alot of my books.  It was quite the read.  I thought I read in there though the tractors themselves were well liked, the board was the one who couldn't get over the price tag as they thought the competition would run over them.

2 things did the Dain tractor in.  Price and Joe Dain himself.  First the price was a huge issue and the board was right on that.  You know anything about the tractor price wars of the early 20s instigated by Henry Ford?  Henry kept dropping the price of his Fordson to the point he was almost giving them away.  JD and IH followed suit and I think even were throwing in a plow in the deal.  JD cut the price of the Waterloo Boy down to $600 and still couldn't sell them all.  JD went from selling over 5,000 Waterloo Boys in 1920 to having over 1,100 unsold in inventory at the end of 1921 which took until 1923 to get rid of them all.  IH was going through the same thing with price cutting. There is no way the Dain would have survived that even though it was the better tractor.  And Joe was the head of the project and the driving force.  He died from pneumonia he caught on one of the field trips he took to see the tractor in action.  When he died it took the wind right out of the sails for the Dain tractor.  Also, if JD had went ahead with full production of the Dain, they would have had to build a factory or buy one and all of the tooling.  Buying the Waterloo company took care of all of that plus the Waterloo Boy already was a known product with farmers.  In other words they were buying market share.  Hindsight it was probably a good business decision.  The only reason the 100 Dains were built at all is because JD had already signed contracts for the engines and other parts purchases parts and apparently couldn't cancel them.  

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15 minutes ago, cedar farm said:

I found the 1980's pictures from Sioux Falls. The photo album gods smiled on me. I agree. It was complicated for it's time in 1917-1918 when farmers were making the jump from horses to a tractor and any maintenance to them was foreign. By the time the D was rolled out a lot had changed in 4-5 years.

 

The board almost didn't want to even build the D because of the price wars and they were loosing money everyday on tractors.  Ironic part is it was Leon Clausen that argued and convinced the board to go ahead with production of the D.  Soon after he went over to JI Case and almost ran that company into the ground.  

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11 hours ago, Big Bud guy said:

From my sources, 2 complete ones and a chassis of a third one.  And like KWRB said JD went all out to destroy them.  Most JD experts think the Dain would have failed eventually due mainly to its price tag of $1,200 to $1,500.  Plus while it was superior technology wise it was also way more complicated higher maintenance design.  

Which is why it came with that wrench!!?

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I love my D's and the way they bark. But in 1924 the choice for farming between a 15-30 and a D which is a 15-27 should not have been much of decision. 3 vs 2 speed. The IHC you can actually reach the park lever while staying seated. Not a big deal with steel wheels, but with rubber tires you coast. 15-30 automotive type steering vs rooster comb. The 15-30 has the provision for a stout pto shaft. The D does have fill flow lube so no oiling rocker arms and in a crude way is fun to drive. But to farm 160 acres with a choice it would probably be the 15-30. I would have hated to be a dealer trying to sell leftover WB's in 1924.

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12 minutes ago, cedar farm said:

I love my D's and the way they bark. But in 1924 the choice for farming between a 15-30 and a D which is a 15-27 should not have been much of decision. 3 vs 2 speed. The IHC you can actually reach the park lever while staying seated. Not a big deal with steel wheels, but with rubber tires you coast. 15-30 automotive type steering vs rooster comb. The 15-30 has the provision for a stout pto shaft. The D does have fill flow lube so no oiling rocker arms and in a crude way is fun to drive. But to farm 160 acres with a choice it would probably be the 15-30. I would have hated to be a dealer trying to sell leftover WB's in 1924.

That steering system was carried over from the WB and I never understood why.  To me that’s the biggest knock against early Ds.  The 2 speed wouldn’t have bothered me back in 1924 since both tractors came on steel wheels.  I don’t want to go much faster then you could with a D.  If the price was the same between both tractors I’d probably go with the 15-30.  If the D was cheaper I’d have to give it a 2nd thought because I honestly believe the D was the more economical tractor to own in the long run plus they were easier to work on.

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Most expensive classic tractor is my Fordson , with out dought sunk more more into I than I care to honestly admit .

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4 hours ago, TP from Central PA said:

They weren't even in the neighborhood of what IHC and Ford each was selling with the Waterloo Boy if I recall?   

There was almost 30,000 WBs built before and after the JD buyout.  IH definitely built more during that time but at one point Ford had over 75% of the market share.  Ford owned the neighborhood.  

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