A selection of vintage tractors that have recently sold can be viewed here: Tractors Sold
In 1923 Farmall tractors were produced and American farming changed forever.
International Harvester (IH) only released the first Farmall tractor in Texas initially, as they were not sure if the farming community would accept a tricycle type tractor. They need not have been concerned as the product launch was successful and the Farmall sold well. By 1926 International began full scale production at the plant in Rock Island, Illinois. The tractors that were made not styled and not terribly pretty.
In 1932 the Farmall was updated with a powerful engine. This engine update was known as F-20. More models were also introduced into the F-series: F-30 in 1931, F-12 in 1932, and F-14 in 1938. Additionally, the models previously given the battleship grey colour were now finished with Farmall Red.
In 1938 the F series ceased to be produced and this saw the introduction of the series A, B, BN, C, H, M, and MD. An industrial designer named Raymond Loewy had been asked to give the general purpose tractors a smoother look and thus this new era emerged. The tractors were given a bonnet, making them look more streamline.
The aim of International Harvester was to provide farms and their owners with modern machines that had more features and capabilities. The name of the tractor came from the idea that this machine should help in every part of farming, to Farm all. The tricycle aspect of the tractors was kept as it had proved to provide quick steering and manoeuvrability over other brands available.
Following this success, Farmall tractors were soon producing models for every farming and industrial need. The A, B and BN were smaller in size allowing its operator to have greater visibility and finer manoeuvring. The C and M supplied greater ploughing and power capability, whilst the MC Farmall, in a first for IH, had a diesel engine. The H model, however, proved most popular with customers.
From 1952 the letter series tractors were updated to the super series. Both the letter and super series saw the Farmall market expand and it was a defining time for IH history. The letter series ended in 1954, but even today many farms are still using H and M models. They are popular with vintage enthusiasts as they are solid uncomplicated tractors that look good, are easy to maintain, and very quick for road runs.
In 1955 Farmall hoped that by replacing the letters with Numbers series the new models would have a different look, to highlight the improvement and updating, but unfortunately this series looked like the letter series.
The Farmall Cub Tractor was born in 1947, comprising of a four cylinder engine and a 69 inch wheelbase. The Farmall Cub was made for small farms that used to rely on horses for their pulling power. The Cub was produced at the newly-bought Farmall Works-Louisville plant, and cost $545.00 in 1947. The Cub remained unchanged for 8 years. In 1955 a “low boy” was introduced. This new model had a shortened wheelbase of 62.5 inches and a frame 8 inches lower than the regular Cub Farmall Model.
In 1958 the IH office in Hinsdaler, Illinois held a reception for over 12,000 dealers from over 25 countries and introduced the new 60 series of tractors. The new 460 and 560 models were large and composed of 6 cylinders. In June that year the 460, 560 and 660 models were recalled due to a fault. International had unfortunately failed to upgrade the drive components within the 6 cylinder engine, and had used the unaltered model M components. Throughout this time International Harvesters’ competitors took advantage of this fault and IH’s customer base and reputation diminished.
In the 60’s and 70’s IH realized that they needed to introduce new models to the marketplace. The company’s conservative management style as well as other factors negatively affected this introduction. Ultimately the company executives recognized that they would have to modernise the tractor line whilst also lowering costs to stay competitive. One introduction was to change the heavy boiler frame to lighter and cheaper components. Additionally the streamlined exterior of earlier units was replaced by more angular lines.
In 1973 International Harvester officially dropped the Farmall name altogether from their tractor models. The name did, however, continue to be used on the 1974 and 1975 tractors until the factories had sold their entire stock.
On February 1, 1974 the 5 millionth IH tractor was produced at the Farmall Works plant in Rock Island Illinois making International the first tractor company to achieve this.
Taken from http://www.farmalltractors.org/a-brief-history-of-the-farmall-tractor.php