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 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. 

43 thoughts on “Ford N Tractors 1939-1952”

    1. I have a 8n use it all the time it’s a great work horse I take care of it it takes care of the farm

  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.

    1. .y 1st job was at Martin Fordd Tractor Sales. I was 5 years old. It did not pay much. I and 4 Bros showed up on Saturday’s. Mom said “Take them” we each got a dollar out of Petty Cash at the end of the Day ➕ lunch at Toms’ Bar. Henry Ford was on the Franchise. It was fun
      . We were Drug Store Farmers. Later on we ‘ d get a car and free Gas. 845 n.clinton St. Defiance..Dad owned 👌 it 30 years. 4 different locations …thanks for sharing.

    2. hi Thaddeus i also have a 1940 ford n that i love , i live in upstate ny Syracuse , Maybe you can answer a question for me . i recently added hydralic fluid and i noticed it leeking out of two small holes underneath that had cotter pins in them . is this normal ?

  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 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 .

  12. I have a 1942 9n and it runs like new. I just spruced it up with some paint. If I do much more I may not want to work it, she looks that good.

  13. Hi y’all : I have a 1945 Ford 9N tractor that was restored and I bought it out of meCowpens South Carolina in 2016 when I moved here from Pennsylvania. It runs great looks good and pulls my 5-ft brush hog to do my back 12 acres of land that I wouldn’t be able to do with a regular lawn mowe

  14. I purchased my 8n last year from my mother in law.
    The tractor belonged to my wife’s father who recently passed away.
    It’s a 1951 and l have been working on it steadily since November 2020.
    The poor ol girl was just beat from stem to stern. It’s my first tractor restoration and Henry Fords genius really shows through. Its so simple and yet absolutely perfectly suited for a long day’s work.
    Im about 3 months away from actually starting it up for the first time.
    95% of the tractor has been ck out rebuilt or replaced.

  15. Thanks for the article, I have a ’43 Ford 2n tractor that I love. It’s pretty ratty but it suits me just fine. It keeps my ’28 Ford A roadster and my ’48 Ford Deluxe company. Long live the early Fords!

  16. I’ve got a 1952, 8N I bought from a man who restored them for a living and this one is still on 6 volts and what looks like original paint.
    I could paint it and make it pretty, but like the man I bought it from I just care about it working and it does that great ! .
    Everything works great and all I use it for is to
    Pull a wagon of pine straw at a time with the
    Late 1940s trailer I got with it !.
    Turn the gas one, wait a minute and it fires up running first time motor turns over !
    I could buy a new tractor, But why ?
    This ones great !.

    1. Does the individual who restores Tractors for a living still restore Tractors. I have an early 1940’s Ford 2N & I’m looking for someone who restores tractors.

  17. I have a 9n and alot of implements to go with it. I would like to sell. $2700 or best offer. Don’t use it as much as I thought I would.

  18. I have a friend who has a 2n and runs well and 2 8n which one needs minor work and other doesnt run needs refurbishing. Have 8 implements. Grass cutter needs blades and another bit of rewelding. In Lewisburg TN. area. Need to sell 4000 for all OBO. Please contact me with email to send pics. Happy to answer any questions….

  19. Hi,In 1997 driving a highway I saw old ford tractor for sale $1850.I bought it! Been using it ever since.Had to fix it up but worth it.With it is a 2 bottom plow,a 3 point rear mount fork and a 5 foot fordson 360 degree push and pull rear mount blade.Oh a two wheel trailer and a ford 5 foot rear mower.Make it a great life! Here in Chanute,Kansas

  20. I just read your article. I have 43 2N that my great grandfather bought new. It was rebuilt in the late 80s and is still in use today. I don’t use it as much as I would like, but just don’t have the time.

  21. I just bought a 47 8n changed oil it runs great am buying a rear 7 ft blade for plowing snow I am 80 and should quit shoveling, at least my wife thinks so!

  22. My father bought a 1940 9n in 1976 for $2500 with 3 basic impliments.i still go out to the barn to take it for a ride and wash the dust off every few months.keep them moving every chance you get

  23. My great uncle bought a 1948 8N new, it passed through family hands over the years and I bought it about 13 years ago. It’s used regularly for yard chores, landscaping, putting boats in/out of the lake, and even snow removal in the winter. It starts first time always and just keeps on going. It’s all original and it won’t be restored till it retires… how could you get it dirty once it’s restored?
    Ron .. City of Kawartha Lakes Ontario

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