Did you know that Ford was the only automotive firm to sell cars, trucks and tractors simultaneously from 1917 to 1928? . The second generation of tractors, the Ford N-Series, came about in the 30’s and 40’s. These tractors dominated the market during their time, and are still dependable to this day in some cases. Though the company no longer sells tractors, that same dedication to hard work and dependable vehicles resides at the core of the ford philosophy today.
The Ford N-Series of tractors actually came from overseas. An Irishmen named Harry Ferguson developed an aftermarket three point hitching system for the Model-T and after some convincing, demonstrated the product to Henry Ford himself. It was a lightweight system relative to its power and impressed Ford so much that he made a handshake-deal to produce the hitching system on Ford tractors. The Ford 9N sold for $585 in 1939 including rubber tires, power take-off, Ferguson hydraulics, an electric starter, generator, and battery; lights were optional.
The tractor was designed to be safe, quiet and easy to operate. And the reason for all this care and concideration (and a $12 million investment at the time) is that Ford once said “Our competition is the horse.” These men were trying to reshape the paradigm of the average field-hand to use machines instead of horses. The 9N was intended for farmers who were not mechanically minded.
An immediate success, the 9N’s configuration became an industry standard, which was followed by other tractor manufacturers for roughly fifteen years. The 8N redesign became the top-selling individual tractor of all time in North America and included a 4-speed rather than 3-speed transmission.
In 1953 The N-series tractor was replaced with the all-new model dubbed the Golden Jubilee, also known as the Ford NAA.