Ford N Tractors 1939-1952

First there was the 9N, then the 2N and finally the 8N. Our history and the history of at least one of the 350,000 N-tractors made, have most likely crossed paths at some time 

ford n tractor drawing

When the idea of doing a story on the iconic Ford N tractors came to Wheel Tracks, the idea seemed great and the task seemed easy. Who does not have one of these tractors parked in their barn or retired to the stone wall, out back? We could find only two N-tractors, are they that scarce? 

Two N-tractors were found in our roster and one more revealed itself from the Wheel Tracks request in the April issue, which has resulted in two short stories. With our stay-at-home rules, the front page came from published pictures, Our photographer could not travel. 

Ford *N tractor

A coincidence did happen! On Wheel Tracks dead-line day, when our man with a camera had to make a trip to the village. There on a deserted main street, was a live 8N. A gent from Hinesburg had just purchased it in Montgomery and was heading home. The poor little Ford, pictured here, seemed to struggle under the weight of its over-sized bucket burden. Hopefully, it was heading for a nice new life, in the big city! 

Al and Judy Faust, of Winterport, Maine are long time VAE members and started coming to our August show 40 years ago. They, along with some neighbors and friends, in their old cars, make their way to the Vermont show every year. 

One of the two N-tractors in our roster is Al’s, a 1948, 8N Ford. Al said it is a “working tractor”, not pretty but ready to go anytime day and night. Its main job is unusual, it is used mainly to mow orchards of Chestnut trees. Al is the chapter president of the “Maine American Chestnut Foundation” and that is why he purchased his 8N about 12 years ago from an Uncle Henry’s classified ad. The tractor has had a few repairs over the years, a change from 6 volts to 12 and an engine rebuild. Al has used a brush-hog in the orchards in the past and this year will be changing to flail-chopper, in the hopes of better getting through the narrow rows without causing damage to the trees. 

chestnut tree orchard

The picture here, found on the net, is a Chestnut orchard in Maine, that Al and his Ford might be mowing this summer. The foundation sells seedlings and is the go-to group for advice on how to start your own Chestnut orchard. Just type www.acf.org/me into your computer, and see the great work the Maine chapter is doing. 

welcome to eden vt

The second Ford N tractor was found in Eden, Vermont. Ken Kelly has a 1952 8N that he purchased in Barre. It worked for him for 39 years until he semi-retired it 2 years ago. It raked, tilled, cut hay with its cutter bar, scraped with its back blade and brush-hogged faithfully over the years. Ken said he could think of only one task his 8N was not quite up to and that was bailing hay, but it tried. The bailer was just too heavy. 

Another tractor has taken over the duties of the 8N but Ken believes only one turn of the engine with the starter, and it would be ready to go back to work, any time. 

16 thoughts on “Ford N Tractors 1939-1952”

  1. Our church in Melbourne, Fl. Has a 1952 8n tractor. We use it for hayrides at Halloween pumpkin time and Christmas time. Have had it for about 10 years and love it.

  2. Hello the trusty 8n is just about everywhere here in East Texas just put in 8n on Facebook market place. I currently own two 8ns one with a bush hog an another with a box blade attached. They are worked very often.

  3. Love my-1939 9n ! We live in the mountains of Virginia and we use it for small chores : drive way plowing, mostly pulling a trailer full of grandkids through the hayfield!!!

  4. I’ve just purchased my first tractor and it’s a 1952 8N 6 volt system starters every time, someone has taken good care of the old girl all I’m doing it giving it a fresh paint job and putting it to work, love the tractor already

  5. I just but a 8n last year. I plant fruit trees with the 8n post hole digger. This year planet 4 acres of pasture, using a 8 ft cultavator. Starts every time was well kept up on maintenance.

  6. I still have and use my grandfather’s 9n he bought in 1940. It has basically done everything on our little farm in upstate NY. And still doing everything.

  7. I have a 1950 8n redone with a2 row Ford corn planter and 2 bottom plow all are parade ready.Im also redoing a 1949 8n for a friend.Both are mint condition. LOVE THEM.

    1. Wow so maybe you may know how to get a hold of the metal tube conduit for the spark plug wires. For a 1939 9N Ford tractor

  8. Hello baby my dad bought one from a guy that had refurbished one and he uses it all the time he just rebiultnthe hydraulic system on it and it runs perfect when he purchased it I had just been rebuilt and a new carburetor was installed we adjuelsted to points on it and it runs perfect he did chande it over to 12 bolt system and gm alternator was put on new and works great

  9. Hello there my dad bought a 8n 1952 flat head 4 from a guy that had refurbished it and he uses it all the time he just rebuilt the hydraulic system on it and it runs perfect when he purchased it it had just been rebuilt to a certain degree and a new carburetor was installed we adjusted to points on it and it runs perfect he did change it over to 12 volt system and it was a GM alternator was installed kit on new and works it works great. After the purchase we have a dealer the he buys his parts from in Georgia’s he lives in Aiken South Carolina it is a joy to see him on it it is a very powerful tractor and he has all of the implements that he needs and uses them he even has a bushhig for it and it works perfect but how do you fix the brakes on it that’s one thing he needs to repair? Let me know jaggiargreen1@gmail.com or if some one have the specs on the brakes system could you send it to me he is 80 yrs old so I help also with specs and things

  10. My man friend has a 1939 9N and only thing stopping it from running right now is a metal tube like conduit about 20 inches long with side hole in it for the spark plug wires. Any help getting one would be appreciated. He has another also. 1952 maybe. He enjoys refurbishing them. And wants to get involved in shows.

  11. I actually went to the junkyard this morning and bought a 9N that had been sold as scrap I will bring her back to life as I have done many others , I have been restoring Ford N and hundred series tractors for some 30+ years .

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