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Ford + Ford = Wow! 1949 8N Tractor


I’ve been marveling at this hybrid ever since I saw the first pictures. Thanks to Charles H. for sending this one in! While it’s true that Ford made both 8N tractors and flathead V-8’s, they never put the two together at the factory that I know of. There have been kits made to do it, though, but I doubt that many others have been done to this standard. This beautiful showpiece may not be a barn find, but I’d love to have it in my barn! Heck, it could probably pull most barns along for the ride! It’s located in Selbyville, Delaware and is up for sale here on eBay.


The seller tells us that the tractor was restored for parade duty, and the craftsmanship is obvious from all the pictures. In addition to the flathead V-8 conversion, the seller added hop-up parts to the engine such as three 2-barrel carbs on an aluminum Offenhauser intake manifold and Edelbrock aluminum heads. I think it looks great with the heads exposed like this.


The “Ford” seat cover is a nice detail, as are the diamond plate foot boards. The seller says it’s only seen parade duty since completion, but that it should be capable of 55 miles per hour (!) I’ll leave that to someone else, thank you! And I’m betting those tires aren’t rated for that speed, either!


I cannot imagine what this would be like at 55 miles per hour. I’m thinking 20 mph would be more than enough! But I’d still love to have it in my barn, though. Would you try driving this creation on the street?


While I can’t imagine pulling a plow with this piece of equipment, all the components are there (I think) to do so. Tires are new as well. So what would you do with this fine tractor? Let us know in the comments below!


  1. Avatar photo Bill

    I have seen these at farm equipment shows (never “hopped up,” however). It is my understanding that the V8 bolts right up to the tractor transmission.

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  2. Avatar photo Kevin

    Wow, that is big money for a tractor. Restored usually don’t bring big money. But Ford did right when they made these. They run forever.

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  3. Avatar photo randy

    Beautiful, thanks for sharing. So these engines do not have valve covers per se’?

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    • Avatar photo Jamie Staff

      Randy, the heads are flat…the valves are in the block. You can see it in this diagram.

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      • Avatar photo randy

        OK, I knew the old stuff was built this way, like a lot of lawn mower engines. I just never “put it together”. Thank you.

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    • Avatar photo Jason Houston

      They’re called “flatheads” because they don’t have valve covers. “Overheads” (with valve covers) first appeared in Fords for 1954.

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  4. Avatar photo David Member

    I’m thinking this would pull a long string of cotton wagons down to the co-op gin!

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    • Avatar photo randy

      And quickly, while sounding great.

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    • Avatar photo Mike

      Pulling wagons and larger 8 row planters or a 12 row culavater and multi row disc. These came out for larger farms during the era of the 8N.

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  5. Avatar photo Todd Zuercher

    @randy – what you’re looking at is essentially the valve covers. They aren’t the typical ones you have on an engine with overhead valves. These engines have the valves in the head so the covers shown are both valve covers, in a sense, and also the top of the combustion chamber.

    As I noted in my reply to this listing on BaT a few days ago, the most common flathead conversion for these tractors back in the day was a kit by the Funk Bros. My dad remembers seeing such a tractor in a local repair shop in rural Ohio in the mid 50s getting its rearend gears repaired/replaced due to the higher output of the engine. Once you put an engine like this in a tractor, something else in the powertrain becomes the ‘fuse’.

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    • Avatar photo randy

      Yes sir, “the weakest link” and all. Thanks.

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  6. Avatar photo mark

    I grew up on a farm and my Dad had a 47 Ford Tractor. It had the standard 4 cylinder motor. We used it to put up hay. Great machine. All but bullet proof. We overhauled the motor when I was 10 years old or so. What a great learning experience.

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  7. Avatar photo ken demerling

    My Uncle Jack of Fenlon Falls, Ontario, Canada had a machine shop like in the Smithsonian and would bring stuff back from the junkyard.Somewhere there are 2 garden tractors with ford flathead v8′ s with a 4/5 foot wheelbase

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  8. Avatar photo gregg

    This thing is just really cool and would love to have it in my garage. Don’t know what I’d do with it, but that wouldn’t matter!

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  9. Avatar photo steve

    Would make a nice aircraft tug for a warbird owner.

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  10. Avatar photo Jim

    Interesting but not practical. If I recall correctly, the 8N Engine was an integral part of the tractor frame and was built extremely stout just for that reason. This is an interesting show piece but I doubt if the Flathead had the structural integrity to be a part of the tractor frame.

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    • Avatar photo bob

      Jim,I had the same thoughts, but on looking closer it looks like a steel plate bolted along the sides of the engine ?

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  11. Avatar photo jim s

    i have many hours driving stock 8n’s and would love to own one now. this one looks nice but i would want a scatter shield/blanket under the seat and around the clutch/drive train. nice find

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  12. Avatar photo DRV

    I had a 1953 golden jubilee with 100 hrs on it 34 years ago. This rig would be crazy to do much with.

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  13. Avatar photo Texas Tea

    Some people truly have more dollars then sense (buyers).

    However, I do agree it is very cool and I like it. Very well done.

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  14. Avatar photo Howard A Member

    I agree with the Jim’s, while it looks neat, this is pure silliness. ( from a practical point of view) I’m currently working/living at a farm that has an 8N,( year unknown) that was his grandfather’s 1st tractor. It doesn’t look like this, ( condition wise) but is probably the easiest machine I’ve ever worked on. Everything is there for a reason. 55 mph, on this, are you nuts? It’s not about speed with a unit like this, and all about torque, which the 4 cylinder provides plenty of. ( I’d think the V-8 would be too much torque for this) The steering setup is made for farming, not drag racing, and not for the faint of heart on a paved road. I have seen this swap before, like the M model IH with a small block Chevy. I like the rest of the tractor, and the diamond plate foot rests are pretty cool. Love older tractors, and thanks Jamie for finding this. ( more typical condition here)

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    • Avatar photo frank

      Pure silliness. Yes. It’s a toy. I personally would rather have this than say a V-8 powered barstool or some of the other “toys” out there.

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  15. Avatar photo racer99

    Current bid over $20K with 36 bids. It’s always worth what someone will pay for it.

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  16. Avatar photo alfred

    I’d like to have the flathead you can keep the tractor part.lol

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  17. Avatar photo dave

    An 8N with a flathead just ran at the recent Land/Speed Trials sponsered by the East Coast Timing Assc. in Wilmington ,Ohio,it was modified well built and I was told it did run a pretty fast mile …..

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  18. Avatar photo Jason Houston

    Cool period mod, but the hop-up crap and that silly seat render the whole thing a sick joke, most especially for the practical reasons pointed out by the tractor experts here in this column.

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  19. Avatar photo Charles

    This is a cool looking rig, worthless as a real workable tractor though.

    I love the sound of the flathead Ford V8’s. I’ll bet this sounds great chugging along.

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  20. Avatar photo LD71 :D

    No Flathead, but pretty cool, near me in CT, and 10% of the moded version: http://nwct.craigslist.org/hvo/5354906322.html
    LD71 :D

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    • Avatar photo Wabbit

      Dang thats a good price which it was closer.

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  21. Avatar photo J Lemay

    Nice tractor. Beautifully done.

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  22. Avatar photo John peterson

    Probably a Funk conversion. The Funk twin brothers also made airplanes. We have a 1946 Funk B75L

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    • Avatar photo randy

      Funky dude, we’d all love to see some pics of another “funky” airmachine.

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  23. Avatar photo Wabbit

    I currently Have a 49- 8N and 2 47- 8N’s, and 2 ferguson TE20’s a 50 & a52, and a Farmall H that I am restoring in addition to 5 or 6 Classic truck waiting to be restored. The Flathead 8 looks cool but not very practical as I restore mine to be used for what they were designed to use them for.

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  24. Avatar photo DENIS

    I love those old Fords and would love to adopt this orphan. NOT PRACTICAL??? Who the hell cares? It’s waykool….

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  25. Avatar photo Wabbit

    There’a one looks just like it on Craigslist Dallas I believe but for $2500 same V8 with the chrome are allunium head, add sounds too good to be true so I wonder if its a fake add or something.

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