1944 FORD 2N Tractor

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1944 FORD 2N Tractor

Background

Former farmboy Henry Ford’s interest in tractors dated back to adolescent days

operating, repairing, and maintaining steam traction engines for neighboring Dearborn,

Michigan area farmers. By 1917, enriched and encouraged by the runaway success of

his Model T, Ford began manufacturing a tractor incorporating many of that car’s

world-changing ideas; namely simplicity, ease of use, durability, and low cost.

The so-called Fordson tractor continued to evolve throughout the 1920s and 1930s, and

by production’s end at the close of WW2, just short of a million of the closely-related

Models F and N had been manufactured at factories as far flung as Cork, Ireland,

Dagenam, England, and even Leningrad and Stalingrad in the Soviet Union.

In 1939, a new Ford tractor emerged, and though conceived with the same overriding

design philosophy as its predecessors, the machine was marketed under a more

familiar blue oval badge.

The Vehicle

That 1939 - 1942 tractor was called the 9N, the very first machine to utilize Irishman

Harry Ferguson’s patented three-point hitch system in combination with a power take-off

or PTO shaft. Add in its low price, wide availability, and a quickly-earned reputation for

reliability and ease-of-use, and the 9N had all the right ingredients for big sales figures,

right from the start. It did not disappoint.

The subject machine is a 2N model, which replaced the closely-related 9N in 1942. This

non-consecutive nomenclature is explained by the fact that each model number prefix

indicates the last digit of the year it was introduced, while both uses of N identify their

shared series.

Updates to the 2N included an improved engine cooling system, among others, but both

machines retained very similar looks, operating principles, and capabilities.

On the Outside

The N series’ distinct waterfall grille is topped with a familiar blue oval, beneath which a

'FERGUSON SYSTEM' badge is mounted. Many 2N tractors wore an all-dark-gray paint

scheme, but this red and bone colored livery was the more attractive standard offering.

Note the tractor’s unusual automotive style exhaust, in which the system is plumbed

down toward the chassis and ground rather than upward through the engine lid as is

traditional.

Front track can be adjusted via telescoping axle ends, while the rear can be widened or

narrowed depending on the fitment of its reverse offset wheels; they’re currently

mounted in narrow configuration, and flipping them around 180 degrees would result in

a wider spacing.

On the Inside

Compared to a Fordson, the 2N’s dashboard is overwhelmingly comprehensive;

compared to most other machines, its two gauges (for amps and oil pressure) are

barely adequate. No one needs a speedometer in a vehicle with a 7.48 mph top speed

though, and fuel level is easy to read by opening the tank and placing a wooden stick

inside.

Underneath

Both the 9N and 2N are powered by 120ci L-head four-cylinders, a design heavily

based on the architecture of Ford’s legendary flathead V8. Though rated for just 20 hp,

these engines compensate for their relatively small output with excellent reliability and

ease of maintenance. 2N durability was further enhanced by the use of a magneto in

place of the 9N’s alternator system, a change forced due to wartime restrictions limiting

the use of batteries.

History Highlights

This tractor is sold without known history.

What We Think

As the improved successor to one of the most important farming machines ever

developed, and wearing nearly identical good looks, the 2N is still among the most

popular collectible vintage tractors out there. With a hydraulic three-point hitch and

PTO, they’re also entirely practical for light duty farm and property work even today.

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Seller

AUSTIN COLLECTION

  • Location: Newberg, OR, United States
  • Seller Type: Private
  • Odometer Reading: N/A
  • Chassis Number: N/A
  • Engine: 120 cu in. L-Head 4-Cylinder
  • Gearbox: Manual
  • Steering position: Left-hand drive
  • Colour: Gray
  • Interior: Black
  • Estimated Price: $6,000 - $10,000

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