John Deere A (1947-1952)

The John Deere A, produced from 1947 to 1952, represents the culmination of the iconic Two-Cylinder Letter Series tractors. Hailing from the heart of American farming in Waterloo, Iowa, this “late styled” A embodies the enduring spirit of rural agriculture. With variants tailored to diverse needs, it became a versatile workhorse on farms across the nation. Its transition to a more modern design and upgraded engine options marked a significant era in tractor evolution. The John Deere A remains a symbol of heritage and progress, cherished by collectors for its historical significance in shaping the landscape of American farming.

John Deere A
Model Year1947-1952
SeriesTwo-Cylinder Letter Series
TypeRow-Crop tractor
ManufacturerJohn Deere
Built inWaterloo, Iowa, USA
Total Built300,000
Original Price (1952)$2,400
ARA-Regular with standard front axle
AWAdjustable wide-front
ANSingle front wheel
Engine Details (Gasoline)
Cylinders2-cylinder 4-valve
CoolingLiquid-cooled horizontal
Displacement321 cubic inches (5.3 liters)
Bore/Stroke5.50×6.75 inches (140 x 171 mm)
Air CleanerOil bath
Compression Ratio5.6:1
Rated RPM975
Firing Order1-2
StarterElectric (12 volts)
Oil Capacity11 quarts (10.4 liters)
Coolant Capacity38 quarts (36.0 liters)
Sparkplug Gap0.030 inches (0.762 mm)
Point Gap0.021 inches (0.533 mm)
Intake Valve Clearance0.020 inches (0.508 mm)
Exhaust Valve Clearance0.020 inches (0.508 mm)
Engine Details (All Fuel)
Displacement321 cubic inches (5.3 liters)
Bore/Stroke5.50×6.75 inches (140 x 171 mm)
Compression Ratio4.45:1
Rated RPM975
Firing Order1-2
Oil Capacity11 quarts (10.4 liters)
Sparkplug Gap0.030 inches (0.762 mm)
Point Gap0.021 inches (0.533 mm)
Intake Valve Clearance0.020 inches (0.508 mm)
Exhaust Valve Clearance0.020 inches (0.508 mm)
ManufacturerJohn Deere
TypeUnsynchronized gear
Gears6 forward and 1 reverse
ClutchMechanical dry disc
Drawbar (claimed)34 hp
Belt (claimed)38 hp
Drawbar (tested)34.14 hp
Belt (tested)38.02 hp
DriveTwo-wheel drive
SteeringManual steering
BrekesDifferential mechanical expanding shoe brakes
StationOpen operator station with steel pan seat.
Power Take-off (PTO)
Rear PTOTransmission
Rear RPM540
Serial Numbers
1934-1952Serial numbers listed, with 1952 as the final iteration.
Belt Pulley
Diameter12.8 inches
Width7.375 inches
Charging SystemGenerator
Battery Volts6
Ag Front5.50-16
Ag Rear11-38, 9-38, 10-38, 12-38
Length134 inches (340 cm)
Width83 inches (210 cm)
Width (with wide front)86.325 inches (219 cm)
Height60 inches (152 cm)
Height (with high-crop front)63.875 inches (162 cm)
Shipping4750 lbs (A), 4850 lbs (AN), 5150 lbs (AW)
Operating5228 lbs (A)
Ballasted6574 lbs
John Deere A Overview

The John Deere A, a revered collectible model with immense historical value, stands as an icon of American agricultural heritage. Produced from 1947 to 1952 as part of the renowned Two-Cylinder Letter Series, it represents the zenith of this illustrious lineage. Born in the heartland of farming, Waterloo, Iowa, it encapsulates the essence of an era when agriculture was the backbone of the nation. With its distinct “late styled” design and potent 5.3L engine options, this tractor was a testament to John Deere’s commitment to innovation.
The John Deere A was not just a machine; it was a partner in the toil of countless farmers, a witness to the changing landscape of American agriculture. Its variants, including the A-Regular (AR), Orchard (AO), Adjustable Wide-Front (AW), Single Front Wheel (AN), and High-Crop (AH), showcased its adaptability to diverse farming needs.

What truly makes the John Deere A a collector’s gem is its historical significance. It marked a transition in tractor design and capabilities, setting the stage for the modernization of farming practices. As farms evolved from horse-drawn equipment to mechanized operations, this tractor was at the forefront of that revolution.

Today, the John Deere A commands attention among tractor aficionados and collectors worldwide. Its “late styled” aesthetic, powerful engine, and impeccable craftsmanship make it a coveted piece of agricultural history. Owning one is akin to preserving a tangible connection to the sweat, grit, and triumphs of American farmers. As a collectible with profound historical value, the John Deere A is a tribute to the enduring legacy of American agriculture and the innovation that fueled its progress.

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