A recent high auction price makes us want to check out every old tractor we see at country auctions. A 1913 CASE tractor just plowed through estimates and sold for $1.47 million at an auction house in Illinois. That makes it the most expensive tractor ever sold. The tractor has the biggest thing (we collectors know this!) going for it: rarity. It is one of only five 1913 CASE tractors known to be left. The other four are in either museums or private collections. The buyer is a Connecticut museum that owned the entire line of early CASE tractors except for this one. The previous record spent on a tractor was $535,000 in 2019.
This tractor is called the “beast” (with a beast of a price now) by tractor collectors. It was used to break virgin prairie. It was the first gas-powered tractor — instead of the normal steam engine — built by J.I. Case Co., now known as CASE IH. It has been owned by a collector in central Iowa.