As I neared the Agri-SC® Soil Treatment display at Ohio State’s Farm Science Review, I wondered what type of antique tractor would be on display…would it be a Minneapolis-Moline, a Farmall, a Deere, or possibly a more obscure brand and model, like last year’s Long “A” from the late 40’s? Rounding the corner, and catching my first glimpse, I honestly had one question pop into my head: What on earth is that thing? Over the next three days at the show, I would have the pleasure of learning about one of the most sought after antique tractors: the Minneapolis-Moline UDLX.
My first question was followed immediately by others. A tractor? A truck? A truck converted into a tractor? Was it really produced this way? I was not alone. As people filtered into the tent to get a look at this gem, most questioned the model in the same way I had. Of course, those who collect antique tractors (especially the Minnea-Mo crowd) knew exactly what they were viewing. The coveted UDLX. This specific machine would be for many the first one ever seen in person. “I’ve seen ‘em in books”, “I’ve seen ‘em in calendars”, “I watched an RFD TV special on these”, were common statements; however, these comments were almost always followed by, “but I’ve never seen one in person until today!” It was an exciting few days, filled with a great crowd of people, and there was no doubt that Carl, the antique collector who provides a tractor for the Agri-SC® display every year, had went above and beyond for us on this one.
Our friend Carl is 74 year old Carl Rufener of Suffield, OH. He has spent many years acquiring a collection of vintage tractors that includes approximately 25 different brands. Four Star Services and our Ohio distributor, Moe Moore of AGROMO, are grateful for Carl’s selfless offering of tractors over the years. He is indeed a collector that enjoys putting unique tractors in front of crowds that truly appreciate the history of our nation’s agricultural heritage.
Across the three days, it was mentioned that only 150 UDLX’s were produced, that they sold for around $1900, and that it’s possible that only 20 or so are in operating condition….and checking into some things afterwards has confirmed these comments. According to tractordata.com, 125 UDLX tractors were built in1938 with an original price of $2155. Known as the first production tractor with a cab, the UDLX was also utilized as an automobile, as it was equipped with a road gear that could reach speeds of 35 – 40 mph. According to Wikipedia, the UDLX was equipped with automotive features such as an electric starter and a dashboard with a speedometer, plus several firsts in a tractor, including a heater, a cigarette lighter, windshield wipers, and a radio. Needless to say, the late 30’s were not a time when farmers were seeking many things beyond the necessities. The price of the UDLX, which would be close to double that of other competitive tractors, was a deterrent for most families. These limited production numbers have, however, only helped out the values that these collectibles are able to bring at sales and auctions.
On October 4th, Carl will be selling his collection of tractors, including this UDLX. And as people would ask about items that might further perfect this UDLX restoration, Carl simply replied, “I’ll leave that for the next guy to do.” Four Star Services wants to again thank him for his years of generosity, allowing us to display many fine collector tractors in the Agri-SC® tent at Farm Science Review. For more information regarding Carl’s sale, please visit the Aumann Auction website: www.aumannauctions.com
- Tad Baumgartner Marketing Manager
Posted in: General,