How do I Buy an Antique Tractor?

Malcolm Tatum

Whether you are a collector of antique farm equipment or in the process of restoring older farm machinery for sale, it is important to know what to look for when you are considering the purchase of an antique tractor. As with any equipment purchase, it is very important to consider the general condition of the collectible. As the same time you should also consider such factors as the ability to secure original parts to restore the tractor as well as the price you must pay to obtain the antique.

An antique tractor.
An antique tractor.

Antique collecting in general requires locating and securing items that are in the best possible condition. The same is true with the antique tractor. While the chances of finding a classic John Deere® or Farmall® in pristine condition is somewhat improbable, that should be your goal. Keep in mind that you want as much of the tractor to be original components as possible. This will add to the value of the equipment and increase the chances that your investment will appreciate in time.

Since there is a high likelihood that you will need to replace at least some of the components on your antique tractor during restoration, it is a good idea to make sure you can obtain the right replacement parts. Don’t assume there are original parts floating around somewhere that you can secure at your leisure. Proactively locate sources for original parts. Using reproductions or even components originally manufactured for other makes and models contemporary with your tractor will not allow your investment to hold its value. If you find that securing the right parts is not possible, turn your attention to another antique tractor and see if that prospect is more likely.

The asking price is also key when determining whether to purchase a given antique tractor or to seek a better deal elsewhere. If your intent is to purchase the tractor for your private collection, you do want the equipment to stand a chance of appreciating in value over the years, or at least holding enough value to equal the purchase price. In terms of restoring tractors for resale, the idea is to purchase the equipment below current value, restore the unit and sell it at or near the current market value. If the asking price is so high that neither of these scenarios is likely, you would do well to forget about the tractor you are considering and continue your search for tractors that will provide you with some type of return.

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Keep in mind that finding a good deal on an antique tractor can take time. Unlike other items, tractors of this type are not widely available in all areas. Be prepared to spend time and effort locating possible purchases, and more time evaluating each potential buy. Exercising patience and doing your homework will greatly increase the chances of being happy with your purchase down the road.

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