This Massive, 110-Year-Old Pioneer Tractor Is Worth $500,000

Pioneer 30-60 tractor 6 photos
Photo: Classic Tractor Fever Tv/YouTube
Pioneer 30-60 tractorPioneer 30-60 tractorPioneer 30-60 tractorPioneer 30-60 tractorPioneer 30-60 tractor
When we talk about vehicles worth half a million dollars, we usually think about supercars and luxury rigs of the Rolls-Royce variety. But vintage agricultural equipment can also cost $500K. This Pioneer tractor that's more than 100 years old is one of them.
And no, this tractor wasn't built by Pioneer Corporation, the Japanese electronics manufacturer. It was made by an American company that operated from the early 1900s until 1927.

One of the most desirable antique tractors ever built, the Pioneer 30-60 was introduced in 1910. And it's significantly different than the tractors we're familiar with today. For starters, it's huge. It rides on eight-foot (2.4-meter) tall rear wheels and features a 1,230-cubic-inch (20.2-liter) four-cylinder, horizontally-opposed engine.

The massive mill was rated at up to 60 horsepower on the belt when new and it can push the tractor to a top speed of more than six mph (10 kph). Yeah, that's a laughable figure in 2022, but keep in mind that this tractor doesn't have tires. You definitely don't want to drive faster than that on big steel wheels.

And even though it almost looks like a locomotive, it's unexpectedly stylish thanks to all that pinstriping on the cabin and the hood. So what makes it desirable and expensive, you ask? Well, even though this tractor was offered for about 17 years, only 14 of them are still known to exist.

And this one is probably one of only a handful that still run and drive. It spent decades in a museum until 1993 and it was fully restored in 1997.

Originally priced at $2,700 in 1911 (about $77,500 in 2022), the Pioneer 30-60 is now valued at around $500,000. When this video was shot, the tractor was scheduled to go under the hammer at the "Pre '30 Auction - 2022" in Nokomis Illinois. The Pioneer failed to sell with a high bid of $456,750.

And if you think that's a ludicrous sum for an agricultural machine from the Ford Model T era, the same auction included a 1919 Twin City that failed to sell for almost $500,000 and a 1913 Case that got a high bid of $1.47 million. Both tractors are shown toward the end of the video.

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About the author: Ciprian Florea
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Ask Ciprian about cars and he'll reveal an obsession with classics and an annoyance with modern design cues. Read his articles and you'll understand why his ideal SUV is the 1969 Chevrolet K5 Blazer.
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