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The World's Most Expensive Tractor Is 109 Years Old, Worth $1.5 Million

Million-dollar cars are nothing new nowadays. Whether we're talking about state-of-the-art supercars or classic Ferraris and Aston Martins, paying seven-figure sums for automobiles is not as ridiculous as it used to be. But did you know that vintage agricultural equipment can also cost a fortune?
1913 J.I. Case 30-60 tractor 6 photos
1913 J.I. Case 30-60 tractor1913 J.I. Case 30-60 tractor1913 J.I. Case 30-60 tractor1913 J.I. Case 30-60 tractor1913 J.I. Case 30-60 tractor
You might remember that back in April 2022 I told you about a 110-year-old Pioneer 30-60 tractor that failed to sell at auction with a high bid of almost $460,000. Well, that's nothing compared to the value of a 1913 J.I. Case 30-60, which changed hands for a whopping $1.47 million.

It happened at Aumann's 2022 Pre '30 Auction, which saw more than 30 vintage tractors go under the hammer. And while quite a few of them sold for more than $200,000, only the J.I. Case went into seven-figure territory. This achievement turned into the world's most expensive tractor, smashing the record set by a 1910 Marshall Colonial at $535,000.

What's more, this 109-year-old piece of equipment is also the most expensive tractor ever sold, regardless of model year or purpose. For reference, the most expensive modern tractor, the Case IH Quadtrac, costs about $600,000.

So what makes the J.I. Case 30-60 so valuable you ask? Well, apparently only a handful of them are still known to exist. While the J.I. Case Company built about 500 of them, only five have survived to this day. And with the other four already in private hands or museums, this 30-60 was the only one to become available to collectors in a very long time.

Built in Wisconsin from 1912 to 1916, the 30-60 is a standard-tread tractor with a wooden platform and a steel canopy. It's powered by a humongous 1,885-cubic-inch (30.9-liter) two-cylinder engine that powers the rear wheels via a one-speed gearbox.

But don't let the massive displacement fool you, this engine delivers 30 horsepower via the drawbar and 60 horses via the belt. And given that the tractor tips the scales at 25,800 pounds (11,702 kg), it's anything but fast.

All told, it's downright amazing that there's a solid market for ancient farming equipment like this. In a world where enthusiasts are paying seven-figure sums to purchase supercars rated at more than 1,000 horsepower, it's refreshing to know that some people choose to preserve tractors that are as old as the first mass-produced automobile.

And here's a cool piece of information for you. J.I. Case Company, the brand that built this tractor, is still around as Case IH. The latter was founded in 1985 when Tenneco purchased the agricultural division from International Harvester and merge it into J.I. Case. The latter was established in 1842.

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