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Hooniverse International Harvester Weekend – A 1951 Farmall Model C Tractor

A Farmall Model C, with Cultivator. Sadly, not the one in the listing!

Continuing with our International Harvester Weekend, I thought it was time to dive into the Tractor end of the Harvester Pool, with this 1951 Farmall “C” Tractor. When doing research on the Farmall line, I discovered that in 1939, International Harvester commissioned industrial designer Raymond Loewy to give the new Farmall general-purpose tractors a sleek new streamlined look. And they sold. International offered almost every kind of tractor for every kind of farm, and the “C” was introduced in 1948 to replace the older “B” and “BN” series of tractors. Let’s discover this 1951 International Harvester Farmall Model “C” Tractor…


According to the listing:

1951 C Farmall recently rebuilt engine, new 12 volt coil and ballast resistor, new 12 volt battery, new starter, new front tires, and partial new paint, I have some paint that will go with it, Gas tank cleaned and coated inside. Has slight miss under load I think is a plug wire. She will start on the first or second crank by hand and starts right up with the starter. This can be a very good show tractor or use it. I started this as a project but due to other circumstances need to sell. I need to sell quick so that is why I started the bidding so low. It also could use some back tires, they are weather checked.

I know very little about farm tractors, but these Farmalls are iconic, and seem to be building interest in the collector community. Starting bid for this tractor is $1,500, but only the seller knows what the reserve is. The question is this: Are you hankering for a real farming Tractor from the 50s? If so, see the listing here.

The Predecessor to the Model C, the Model BN

Currently there are "15 comments" on this Article:

  1. $kaycog says:

    Farmall tractors also have an incredible sense of rhythm. [youtube bvY8_8_wby0 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bvY8_8_wby0 youtube]

  2. smalleyxb122 says:

    That looks pretty sweet. I like old tractors, but have no intention of starting a collection, and my 1/2 acre certainly doesn't justify a tractor for yard work.

    That being said, if it were closer to me, I'd have to spend the next 2 days, 21 hours telling myself why I don't need that tractor. With the tractor all the way in Alabamer, it's much easier.

  3. tonyola says:

    I suppose most people know this, but Loewy also designed the famous IHC logo. It's supposed to represent a man on a tractor, seen head on.
    <img src="http://www.carlogo.org/lsi/international_harvesterlogo.jpg&quot; width=250>

    • $kaycog says:

      Well, how clever is that! I didn't know that.

    • CptSevere says:

      I had no idea. Very cool.

      • coupeZ600 says:

        Me neither! (and Congrats on making the century mark, better than sitting on a century plant!)

        • CptSevere says:

          Yeah, It's an honor . I never got a star over at that other place, so it's a good thing. I'm still waiting for the free beer, hookers, and my invitation to have lunch with the mayor (Of course, I know the guy and could eat lunch with Jack whenever I want, but you get the idea). Hey, man, I've spent enough time in the desert to know better than to sit down on an agave. We all know that they're not chairs, they're for making tequila. Valuable plants, those, especially in Tequila County, Mexico.

          • austinminiman says:

            Ehh, I got a star and then had it taken away because I agreed with another comment that disliked a post. A hollow victory coming from such shallow men.

    • BigFatGeek says:

      Very interesting. I've been familiar with that logo my entire life as my late grandfather was the General Counsel of IH in the mid-late 60s. In fact, upon retirement, he was given this clever toilet paper holder. It's still in place in a basement bathroom at the house that our family sold over twenty years ago:
      [IMG

  • facelvega says:

    In tractors, I depart from my philosophy with cars: I'll take a wide front axle, power steering, and a roll bar. It gets hilly up here in the northeast, and after you've nearly flipped over an old tractor and crushed yourself beneath it, some of that vintage charm fades.

  • dukeisduke says:

    Wow, I saw an old Farmall today, just a few miles from here. It was parked in a front yard (okay, it was a really big yard) with several implements, like functional yard art. And, I know someone that owns two Farmalls, one large and one small. He's in the local antique tractor club, and the antique IHC club.

    Like the t-shirt says, "Crops Are Green, and Tractors Are Red".

    • scoutdude says:

      Why do they paint Deere's green………………….so they can hide in the field while the red ones do all the work.

      Of course there is also the old: " If it ain't red, leave it in the shed!"

  • ptschett says:

    The Farmall letter series were really quite advanced for their day. A Deere of the same period has their humongous displacement/slow-turning transverse 2-cylinder, where IH was using smaller, higher-RPM, longitudinal fours. Also the transmission shift pattern of, say, a Super C makes a lot more sense than some of the Deeres; for example the Super C is a simple but reversed H pattern (R on the right, 1-2 in the middle gate, 3-4 on the left) where on some Deeres it seems a random number generator was used to assign the gears to their gates. There was some thought given to ergonomics on the Farmalls as well, I've spent many days running a Super C and a 350 (descendant of the H) and they have a reasonable reach to the control levers and a flat upper transmission cover to provide a floorboard, while on some other tractors of the era there's nowhere good to put your feet.

  • coupeZ600 says:

    A excavating company I used to work at had this really cute 1938 Ford 8N that just had really worn and shiny pegs (with no running boards, just like this one) to put your feet on when they weren't on the equally shiny and slippery brakes.

    To those who have never driven a tractor, each foot controls just the brake on that side to act like an enforced differential to help you make sharper turns. Since the brakes never worked worth a sh*t on any tractor of this era, you developed a technique of standing on the brake(s) and pulling up from the bottom of steering wheel like you were doing weightlifting curls (not the twelve-ounce kind – completely different motion). If you had muddy boots and slipped off the peg and/or the pedal, your leg would go to the ground, the wheel would roll on top of it and drag you underneath, ripping you in half if you couldn't get the other leg over the chassis/frame quick enough so it would just run over you and then drag whatever implement you were pulling over your body. Death and/or massive physical disfigurement was certain in either case. Whoever figured out if they just put a running board under the brake they'd stop killing their customers got a nice little Christmas Bonus I hope…..

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