We recently had the very special treat of attending the Old Glade Antique Tractor Show, perched on a picturesque hillside in Abingdon, VA. At first glance, the similarities between an antique tractor show in the Virginia hills and our usual coverage of an event like the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance seem few and far between. Sure, the items on display are old and the vehicles on display have 4 wheels, a motor and some curious designs – but beyond that how could these two events be more dissimilar?
In fact, these sorts of events have more in common that you would think. While most of the collectors probably don’t have bank accounts to rival the GDP of a Central American country, these folks are every inch as passionate about their vintage tractors as are the owners of a prestigious piece of racing history. They know the provenance of their machines, the nuances that make their tractor unique, and they have a high opinion of what their equipment is worth. It’s often said you can tell you’re at a concours by the garish and stylistically confusing coloring of participants pants, and so too you find a distinct wardrobe at an antique tractor show – consisting mainly of crisp blue bib-overalls and straw hats.
So, what is different you ask – there is an order of magnitude separation in the value of these vehicles for starters. A pristinely restored 1950s Ford Jubilee Tractor, for example, will set you back about $5,000 – but even a bargain-basement concours-level entry will set you back 30 times that amount. In other words, if you were so inclined to sell just one of your concours cars, you could fill up an entire barn with top-notch antique tractors – in-so-doing have one of the best private tractor collections in the country – and still have enough loose change to buy yourself a few dozen acres to play farmer with. Tempting, isn’t it… Or, if you’re like me and don’t have $200,000 burning a hole in your pocket – getting into the world of tractor collecting could prove both profitable and enjoyable. For a boy with rural roots and a love of the country, I thoroughly enjoyed the day spent with these genuine and kind antique tractor enthusiasts.
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