My Grandfather's 8N

My grandfather introduced me to the Ford 8N around 1964. He owned a 1952 8N and used it the better part of 25 years. My Uncle Bub was the original owner, and sold it to my grandfather early on. When my grandfather passed away in 1977, my Uncle Bob (Bub's brother) bought the tractor. A few years ago, my brother Bill bought it. It has stayed in Cass County, Missouri, its entire life. Currently, Bill keeps it in the barn and uses it for mowing and garden tilling.

All of the grandkids did their time on the 8N, hauling manure, disking fields, mowing pastures. I decided that was the tractor for me when, as a 6 year old, I saw my grandfather use it to pull a semi and single-wide mobile home out of a muddy pasture. With front wheels a foot or so off the ground, smoke coming out of the exhaust, and mud flying high in the air, he was able to supply enough extra force to help the semi out of its mud hole.

My 8N Purchase

My friend and co-worker, Lynn Cooper, was looking for a John Deere Model A. Now, I don't know an A from a B from Z, but I know John Deere green. I spotted a tractor near my house and told Lynn. He went to see it one day at lunch, and bought it on the spot! (See Lynn's John Deere, now fully restored)

A few weeks later, Lynn (knowing I was looking for an 8N) spotted one close to his home. He kept telling me to go look at it, but I put it off because its about 30 miles from my place. One Saturday he stopped and looked himself. He left a message on my recorder that said "This is the one! Better bring cash!" My wife and I hopped in the van, swung by the bank to get the cash, and in about an hour I was the owner of my very own 1950 8N.

Since that time, I've seen several Jubilees, a few 9N's and various other 1950's Ford tractors for sale here in Central Texas, but so far no other 8N's.

In the process of keeping my 8N working on the ranch, everything I'm learning about buying parts, troubleshooting, and restoring, I'm passing along to my brother in Missouri so he can keep Grandpa's old tractor running for many more years.