New Holland revives a legend

  • 11-May-2009 04:55 EDT

Maintaining a connection in appearance to the original Ford 8N, New Holland's 8N Boomer combines a vintage feel and appearance with the abilities of a modern tractor.

Chrome, two-tone paint, and… a new tractor? Not since the 1950s have tractors had much time spent on their aesthetics, but with a vintage design stemming from the Ford 8N model that came out in 1947, the new 8N Boomer from New Holland (Ford and New Holland have been connected since 1986) marks a change for the style-conscious consumer.

In 1947 when the first 8N rolled off Ford’s production lines, it changed farming by giving a PTO and three-point hitch to the country at an affordable price. Within five years, more than half a million had been sold, and 50% of those are estimated to be working today.

The 8N Boomer combines the heritage of the original in a compact, modern tractor. The powerplant is a 50-hp (37-kW) four-cylinder diesel, attached to a constantly variable transmission (CVT). The CVT eliminates the clutch and gears, making the tractor more carlike and easy to use for the intended consumers; the 8N is more geared for rural estates or hobby farmers.

Looks are important for the 8N, and a multitude of options are available to dress up the exterior, including chrome steps, exhaust, and grab handles; lights; decals; and diamond-plated floorboards. The two-tone paint is designed to separate the working parts from the more decorative hood and fenders. The operator has a tilting and telescoping steering wheel, power steering, adjustable seating, and a cup holder. The seat is perforated to allow free airflow and easy cleaning and is designed to suit any occupant. Chromed, round gauges with digital displays on the dashboard complete the retro feel.

Not all merits are in its looks; four-wheel drive, a three-point hitch with telescoping stabilizers, and flexible link ends make attaching implements easy, and a two-position extendable drawbar completes the functionality. The 2950-lb (1338-kg) Boomer measures 124 in (3150 mm) long and 78 in (1981 mm) wide. A variety of attachments will be available.

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