Unique, child-sized Ford tractor up for grabs

Fancy the tractor that Henry Ford had made for his grandchildren?

This unique artefact will be sold to the highest bidder by Aumann Auctions in Illinois on April 13.

The 5/8th scale tractor is based on a 1925 model Fordson, the tractor that Ford built along with his Model T and other cars.

Old Man Henry owned a large hobby farm and estate, called Fair Lane in Dearborn, Michigan and wanted to teach farming to his grandchildren, including HF II.

After a number of years the tractor was given to The Henry Ford museum.

The museum sold it in 1982 and the relatives of the collector who bought it will now be offering it to the highest bidder.

Henry first became interested in building an affordable farm tractor back in 1907.

But his focus at the time was on the Model T, which was launched in 1908.

It took another nine years for Ford to finalise a tractor design.

The “Fordson” name was trademarked in 1918, followed by the “Model F” designation a year later.

Ford used an assembly line to assemble his tractors.

It was not a particularly innovative design, apart from the unit frame construction which used the drive train as stressed members.

They needed a crank handle to start them, just like cars of the time.

What ensured sales was the low price and an extensive network of dealers in almost every town in the USA.

Some parts were even shared with the Model T, making replacement components that much easier to source.

Then tractor was so successful that in 1919 Ford established a plant in Cork, Ireland, to meet global demand for his tractors.

Fordson tractors began arriving in Australia in 1918.

The tractors were popular with soldier settlers because of their price and availability.

In Australia the tractor was initially sold via agents.

The Ford Motor Co. took over sales and marketing when it established local operations in 1926.

Vintage Fordsons have a strong collector following here and overseas.

The 5/8th scale model is expected to sell for about $A10,000-15,000.

David Burrell is the editor of

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