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1971 High Crop Diesel Tractor Soars to $64,000 at John Deere Collectibles Auction

by WorthPoint Staff (07/28/09).

This extremely rare 1971 John Deere 2520 high crop diesel tractor was the top lot in the two-day sale of John Deere vintage tractors and related collectibles held July 8-9 in Le Mars, Iowa, selling for $64,000.

This extremely rare 1971 John Deere 2520 high crop diesel tractor was the top lot in the two-day sale of John Deere vintage tractors and related collectibles held July 8-9 in Le Mars, Iowa, selling for $64,000.

LE MARS, Iowa – An extremely rare 1971 John Deere 2520 high crop diesel tractor with syncro-range transmission—one of fewer than 80 ever made—sold for $64,000 at a two-day sale of John Deere vintage tractors and related collectibles held July 8-9, making it the top lot in the auction.

“Vintage tractors have really exploded in recent years among collectors,” said Dan Matthews of Matthews Auctions, LLC, who hosted the sale in conjunction with Girard Auction and Land Brokers, Inc. of Wakonda, S.D. “But the John Deere’s bring the most money because they kept very strict serial numbers, so it’s easy for buyers and sellers to determine which tractors are truly original and intact. It’s similar to vintage cars, where it’s important for the serial numbers to match.”

Between 600 and 700 registered bidders attended the weekend event, held at the Plymouth County Fairgrounds here in Le Mars, Iowa. Several phone bidders vied for the lots with folks in the room, while numerous absentee bids were also recorded (especially for the vintage tractors). Online bidding was facilitated by Bidspotter. Matthews estimated the sale grossed right around $800,000.

The July 8 session was dedicated mainly to toys and memorabilia (550 lots), while July 9 was set aside for tractors, signs, saddles and parts (300 lots). The tractors, all of which were beautifully restored and in like-new condition—were mostly from the Robert Plendl collection—and examples from the New Generation series, produced by John Deere from the early 1960s to 1972. Some tractors sold were even older.

After some ferocious bidding, this John Deere double-sided porcelain neon sign in excellent condition went for $8,000.

After some ferocious bidding, this John Deere double-sided porcelain neon sign in excellent condition went for $8,000.

This John Deere Quality Farm Implements single-sided porcelain sign, measuring 3 feet by 5 feet, was purchased for $5,500.

This John Deere Quality Farm Implements single-sided porcelain sign, measuring 3 feet by 5 feet, was purchased for $5,500.

This 1971 John Deere 4620 diesel tractor with power-shift transmission brought $38,000.

This 1971 John Deere 4620 diesel tractor with power-shift transmission brought $38,000.

Other tractors that realized high gavel prices included a 1958 John Deere 330 standard tractor (one of less than 900 produced) in unbelievable original condition sold for $23,000), while a 1971 John Deere 4620 diesel tractor with power-shift transmission went for $38,000. A top lot from the July 8 sale was a John Deere double-sided porcelain neon sign in excellent condition. It went to a determined bidder for $8,000.

All prices quoted are hammer prices, exclusive of a sale commission (there was no buyer’s premium). Following are additional highlights from the sale:

• JD (John Deere) Quality Farm Implements single-sided porcelain sign with four-legged deer logo in a rare size of 3 feet by 5 feet ($5,500);
• an original JD plow share rack ($1,800);
• JD parts clock from the 1960s ($2,100);
• JD leather saddle presented to legendary cowgirl Lucille Mulhall ($10,000);
• A genuine Velie saddle once owned and ridden by legendary movie cowboy Tom Mix. It brought $5,000.

Among the tractors to go included:

• 1970 JD 2520 diesel power shift tractor brought $31,000;
• A pair of 1972 JD 4020 diesel power shift tractors realized $23,500 and $23,000;
• 1959 JD 730 diesel high crop tractor hammered for $25,500; a 1970 JD 4020 FWA tractor topped out at $29,500;
• 1970 JD 2520 diesel power shift tractor hit $26,000; and a 1972 JD 4020 diesel syncro tractor changed hands for $19,500.
• An outstanding 1969 JD 4520 diesel power shift tractor climbed to $35,000;
• 1972 JD 2520 syncro wide front tractor chalked up $18,000;
• 1972 JD 4000 diesel standard syncro tractor earned $16,000;
• 1972 JD 3020 diesel syncro tractor coasted to $18,500;
• 1965 JD diesel orchard tractor commanded $17,000;
• 1959 JD 530 tractor with 36-inch non-adjust wide front brought $12,500;
• 1958 JD 430 utility tractor chugged away for $16,250;
• 1959 JD 630 row crop tractor with 36-inch non-adjust wide front made $11,750;
• 1960 JD 630 standard tractor breezed to $15,520;
• 1959 JD 730 gas standard tractor soared to $14,000;
• 1959 JD 730 diesel electric start tractor rose to $12,000;
• 1959 JD 830 diesel electric start tractor reached $17,250;
• 1937 JD G Serial #1080 hit $16,000.

Matthew Auctions, LLC’s next big sale will be a Petroliana & Gas Station Collectibles Auction, mostly cans and signs, to be held Aug. 7 in Des Moines, Iowa, held in concurrent with the Iowa Gas Show in the same venue. Matthews will hold its annual Fall Peotone Petroliana & Advertising Auction on Oct. 16 in Peotone, Ill.

For more information, contact Matthews Auctions by phone at (217) 563-8880 or (217) 259-7059, by e-mail at info@matthewsauctions.com,or visit its Web site. Girard Auction has several large toy auctions scheduled for the rest of the year that will feature many more John Deere Toys and related memorabilia. For more information about Girard’s, call toll (866) 531-6186 or visit its Web site.

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Captions:

John Deere 2520:

John Deere neon sign:

John Deere porcelain sign:

John Deere 4620:

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