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Twenty-fifth anniversaries are very special. I know this because for our recent twenty-third anniversary, I bought my wife a new dishwasher. I've been told since then that I have to step it up for our upcoming twenty-fifth.
Case IH recently celebrated the 25-year anniversary of its first Magnum tractor back in 1987. Their Magnum tractors in 1988 were the first produced by Case IH after the merger of J.I. Case and International Harvester.
I've been watching another type of celebration in regard to Case IH Magnum tractors the past couple of years. There has been a procession of new record-high auction sale prices on Magnums of all shapes, sizes, and ages on sales all across North America.
Check out the table at left. You'll see all the Case IH 7130, 7140, 7230, 7240, and 7250 Magnums that have sold in the last couple of years.
Pay special attention to the six tractors highlighted in red. They all represent new record-high auction sale prices. The most recent of the bunch is the 1996 Case IH 7230 that sold for $95,000 on September 3, 2012, in southeast Minnesota. It sold on a consignment auction, although it was presented as a local estate selling this super-nice 7230.
So how high is $95,000? It's $27,000 higher than any other Case IH 7230 I've ever seen sell at auction. Until then, the top price was $68,000 for a 1996 model with 1,600 hours that sold on a November 17, 2007, auction in west-central Iowa.
Low hours, nice shape
This is indicative of the tremendous premiums being paid for the very nicest condition used tractors. This trend has been building since late 2007 and has only picked up speed since August 2011.
Coincidentally, August 2011 is when I saw the 1991 Case IH 7110 two-wheel drive listed in the table with 1,477 hours sell for $57,000 on a farm auction in southeast Minnesota. That's $14,000 higher than the previous high auction sale price I had ever seen on a 7110 in either a two-wheel-drive or a front-wheel-drive version.
I mentioned that this trend of rising tractor values began in late 2007. A pair of Case IH 7220s got the ball rolling:
• On a November 17, 2007, farm auction in southeast South Dakota, a 1996 Case IH 7220 front-wheel-drive tractor with 2,300 hours sold for $71,000. That was a new record auction sale back then.
• Just three weeks later, on a December 7, 2007, farm auction in east-central Illinois, a 1995 Case IH 7220 two-wheel-drive tractor with 1,830 hours sold for $70,000. That was another new record sale price.
Nearly A $30,000 Jump
Last winter I was in the Chicago area giving a talk on trends in the used farm equipment market. Most of the audience were farm equipment manufacturing engineers, but they also invited area farmers to the event.
During my talk, I highlighted all the recent record-high auction sale prices, particularly on tractors. I singled out the 1994 Case IH 7240 with 1,600 hours that sold for $90,000 on an April 4, 2011, farm auction in west-central Wisconsin. The front weights sold separately for $1,890.
The previous high auction sale price I had seen on a Case IH 7240 was $68,000 for a 1996 model with only 632 hours. It sold on a dealer auction in southwest Minnesota on August 25, 1999.
After my talk, a gentleman approached me to visit. He was the very farmer from Wisconsin who bought the Case IH 7240 for $90,000. We had a nice visit. I congratulated him on acquiring such a super-condition used tractor.
He said the tractor was spec'd out exactly as he wanted. The 18.4-46 duals were a plus, as was the fact that he knew the history on this particular 7240, which had received extremely diligent care its entire working life. That knowledge is always a huge factor in determining used values.
As I told my new friend from Wisconsin, whenever I mention new record-high auction prices, I don't mean to imply anyone is paying too much. The auction method simply tells what the current value is on that item in that area on that particular day.
Low-hour tractors in nice condition are just worth more money now than before.