Farmall Super M

The Farmall Super M, a legendary row-crop tractor from the early 1950s, epitomizes the pinnacle of agricultural innovation of its time. Renowned for its robust performance and enduring reliability, the Super M remains a cherished collector’s item today, celebrated for its iconic design and historical significance. With its powerful engine, rugged mechanical features, and versatile functionality, this enduring icon of farming history continues to captivate enthusiasts and historians alike, serving as a timeless symbol of the ingenuity and perseverance of the American farming tradition.

Farmall Super M (1952 – 1954) Specifications
ManufacturerFarmall (a part of International Harvester)
TypeRow-Crop Tractor
Production FactoriesRock Island, Illinois, USA; Louisville, Kentucky, USA
Total Built57,092 (Rock Island
Original Price (1954)$2,500
VariantsSuper M (gear with spark engine), Super M-TA (TA with spark engine), Super MD (gear with diesel engine), Super MD-TA (TA with diesel engine), Super MV (high-crop)
Drawbar44.23 hp / 33.0 kW
Belt47.07 hp / 35.1 kW
Mechanical Specifications
DriveTwo-wheel drive
BrakesDifferential mechanical dry disc
Operator StationOpen
Engine Details
Gasoline EngineInternational Harvester C264, 4.3L 4-cyl
Displacement264 ci (4.3 L)
Air CleanerOil bath
Rated RPM1450
Starter Volts6
LP Gas EngineInternational Harvester C264, 4.3L 4-cyl
Displacement264 ci (4.3 L)
Air CleanerOil bath
Rated RPM1450
Starter Volts6
TypeSliding gear
Gears5 forward, 1 reverse
Clutch12-inch dry disc
Oil Capacity52 qts (49.2 L)
TypeIH Lift-All
Power Take-off (PTO)Rear transmission
Rear PTO RPM540
Belt Pulley
Diameter11 inches
Width7.5 inches
Charging SystemGenerator
Battery Volts6
Ag Front6.00-16
Ag Rear12-38
Dimensions and Weight
Wheelbase89.25 inches
Length134.6 inches
Width84.5 inches
Height (steering wheel)79 inches
Weight5603 lbs
Ground Clearance (frame)15.5 inches
Clearance (rear axle)26.25 inches
Farmall Super M Overview

As a tractor expert examining the Farmall Super M, it’s essential to contextualize its significance within agricultural history, its relevance as a collector’s item today, and its technological aspects relative to its era.

Historical Significance

The Farmall Super M holds a significant place in agricultural history as a versatile and powerful row-crop tractor introduced in the early 1950s. During this period, the mechanization of farming was rapidly evolving, and the Super M represented a leap forward in agricultural productivity. Its production figures and widespread adoption testify to its importance in post-war American farming.

Modern Relevance and Collector’s Appeal

Today, the Farmall Super M is revered among collectors and enthusiasts for its historical significance, iconic design, and lasting durability. As a collector’s item, it represents a tangible link to a bygone era of farming when these machines were at the forefront of agricultural innovation. Restored Super M tractors are prized possessions, often showcased at agricultural shows, museums, and vintage tractor rallies, capturing the imagination of enthusiasts and historians alike.

Overview Specifications

Power and Performance: With its robust engine delivering around 44 horsepower, the Super M was a workhorse on the farm, capable of handling a wide range of tasks, from plowing and cultivating to hauling and mowing.
Mechanical Design: Its simple yet rugged mechanical design, featuring manual steering, dry disc brakes, and a sliding-gear transmission, reflected the state-of-the-art tractor technology of the time. These features made it reliable and easy to maintain, crucial factors for farmers dependent on their equipment.
Engine Technology: The Super M’s gasoline and LP gas engines were advanced for their time, offering sufficient power while maintaining fuel efficiency. The use of an oil bath air cleaner ensured clean airflow to the engine, enhancing its longevity and performance.
Hydraulics and PTO: The inclusion of hydraulics and a power take-off (PTO) system provided additional functionality, allowing implements to be easily attached and operated, further increasing the tractor’s versatility.

Technological Aspects

When considering the Farmall Super M within the context of tractor technology of the 1950s, several key aspects stand out:

Mechanical Simplicity: The Super M embodied the ethos of simplicity and durability, with its straightforward mechanical components engineered for reliability and ease of repair.
Manual Controls: Manual steering and mechanical brakes were standard features, reflecting the reliance on human power and mechanical linkages prevalent in tractor design at the time.
Basic Instrumentation: Instrumentation on the Super M was minimal, with basic gauges for monitoring engine parameters and minimal electrical components, reflecting the technology available during its production era.
Evolution of Power: The Super M represented an evolution in tractor power, offering significantly higher horsepower compared to earlier models, enabling farmers to tackle larger fields and more demanding tasks with greater efficiency.

In summary, the Farmall Super M is not only a historical artifact but also a testament to the ingenuity and craftsmanship of its era. Its enduring appeal as a collector’s item underscores its status as an icon of agricultural heritage, while its technological aspects provide insights into the evolution of tractor design and functionality during the mid-20th century.