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Back When: 1946 Ford 2N

10 Sep 2023

This 1946 Ford 2N is just one of the antique tractors in collection of Paul Sylte of Amery, Wisconsin. He has been collecting antique tractors for over forty years. Paul said, “Ever since I was a young child, I have loved old tractors.” He thinks it started the first time he was old enough to ride on the fender of the neighbor’s old John Deere B; from then on, he was hooked.

When Paul learned this 2N, was for sale he knew he had to own it. It belonged to David Bieniasz, Paul’s well-respected shop teacher from high school, so it has a very special meaning. He drove the tractor home while his former teacher followed; just in case of any problems arose, he would be there to help.

The 2N was in fair condition, but Paul gives each of his tractors a special treatment of new tires, a full inspection, and makes any necessary repairs to the motor and transmission. Paul enjoys the challenge of locating replacement parts to keep his tractors original. You might say this is a hobby within a hobby. The little Ford was repainted and a fender and the seat were replaced.

While Paul was researching the history of his 2N, he noticed he shared something very special with it. The build date on the tractor is 12/27/1946; Paul’s birthday is 12/27/1953.

Paul says his seven grandchildren are his inspiration; they all love antique tractors much like he did as a child and love taking turns riding with him. Those who are old enough will pitch in and help him during the restorations while the others wish they could.

The 2N is used for a small amount of yard work and at the annual threshing bee at Turtle Lake, Wisconsin, but most of the time it is just fun to ride on with the grandchildren. Paul expects his tractors to remain in his collection…. Unless he gets that offer he can’t refuse. Like the old saying goes, you should never say never! Beyond that, he has no real plans for the future for the 2N and his other tractors.

He learned a long time ago that to promise a special tractor to someone might end up with  someone else’s feelings being hurt if that promise can’t be kept, and he never wants that to happen.


Farmers Hot Line is part of the Catalyst Communications Network publication family.