Ford/Fordson Collectors Invade Le Sueur, Minnesota in 1999

Fordson tractors

Two early Fordson tractors show at the LeSueur County Pioneer Power Show

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Rt. 1, Box 139, Le Center, Minnesota 56057

The National Ford/Fordson Col-lectors Association (F/FCA) will hold their 8th annual meeting and show in Le Sueur, Minnesota, in conjunction with the Le Sueur County Pioneer Power Show, August 27, 28, 29, 1999.

When Ford/Fordson enthusiasts first got together in 1991 and talked about organizing a club, it was thought that maybe they couldn't get enough tractors together to warrant a national club. The decision was made to go ahead and form a national club, and no one has looked back since. At Le Sueur, Minnesota, this summer they are expecting nearly 200 tractors, ranging from the 1917 Fordson up to the modern day 1960s Ford tractors. Many pieces of Ford farm machinery will be on display and working in the fields. One of the items of machinery on display will be a one row Nichols and Shepard corn picker mounted on a Fordson tractor owned by Dan Zilm. Pioneer Power is a working show with non-stop field activities. Don't be surprised if you see two Fordsons belted to the sawmill at once, or even see two more Fordsons belted to a 36 x 60 Avery Yellow Fellow separator at one time blowing the straw out of the blower as easily as a large steam engine. The 'dirt crew' might even let some of Henry Ford's products play around in the 10-acre dirt pile, along with a variety of other earth moving equipment, such as the Minnesota mucker, shovels, cranes, dirt wagons, crawlers of all sizes and much more. The 60 x 130 ft. 'Feature Building' will be packed full of Ford displays, vendors, and demonstrations. On Friday of the show, Dan Zilm will be heating and pouring babbitt bearings in a Fordson engine block. And then on Saturday, Dan will show everyone how the process of line-boring the main bearings in the engine block is done. This will be a very interesting demonstration to anyone who works on older engines, no matter what brand of tractor it is.

Two early Fordson tractors show at the LeSueur County Pioneer Power Show

As soon as the names Fordson or Ford are mentioned, it brings to mind a compact little gray tractor. Hundreds of thousands of these little tractors were produced working in a variety of environments, such as light industrial work, airports, golf courses, and the most important task of working on the American farm. These little tractors seemed to be everywhere.

The three Ford models, the 9N, the 2N, and the 8N, were built from 1939 through 1952, and are the most prevalent tractors of the Ford family. Various refinements have been done to these tractors, even to the extent of repowering it with a V8 engine, putting out 95 horsepower. A multitude of implements were built for these small Ford tractors, both by Ford and by after-market companies. The Ford tractor became one of the most versatile small tractors on the market.

The Ford/Fordson Collectors and the Le Sueur County Pioneer Power will try to show everyone in attendance the story of the little gray tractors and the impact they had on American agriculture and industry. Come meet some of the collectors/restorers that keep alive the heritage of the little gray tractor. The 'Minnesota Connection' of the Ford/Fordson Collectors will all be getting their collections ready for the show. Some of them are Dan Zilm (Fordson), 9224 S.E. 48th Street, Claremont, MN 55924, 507-528-2117; Glen Birk (Fordson), Mankato, MN; Palmer Fossum (Ford), 10201 E. 100th Street, Northfield, MN 55057, 507-645-8095; and Doug Norman (Ford), 1035 Highway 7 SW, Montevideo, MN 56265, 320-269-7015, just to mention a few.

A pair of Ford tractors: an early 1939 9N on left, and late '50s model 600 on the right.

For more information about F/FCA write to Ford/Fordson Collectors Association Inc., 645 Loveland-Miamiville Road, Loveland, OH 45150.