ImageThis 60s vintage IH dealer sign sold for over $2000 at auction last week. A 70s vintage tall IH dealer sign with the tractor symbol went for over $4000.ImageInternational Cubs, these were running but worn and sold for over $2k, Some nicer ones went for around $4k. To put this in perspective, these are 15 horsepower 2WD gas engine tractors with a flathead engine and oddball 1800 RPM PTO last built in the 70s… With roughly the capabilities of  a midrange garden tractor that sells brand new, with a warranty, for $3k or so.

ImageCub Cadets, I counted 27 of them, I think. Cheapest runners went for around  thousand, the 782 diesel I was lusting after went for $4100… A bit much for a 30 year old, 1100+ hour 15 HP 2WD garden tractor with a pair of slices in the hood somebody cut to get access to something or other. $10k will get you a new Yanmar Cub Cadet with 23 HP, 4WD, and a 5 year powertrain warranty.

The only bargains were the trucks and maybe a few larger 40 HP and up tractors. A 30 year old IH flatbed straight truck with solid cab and a rebuilt DT466 wet liner went for only $2500, and a non runner 50s IH straight truck went for around $700, not even scrap value.

The takeaway: After three decades that “Navistar” name still isn’t workin’ for the company, while collectors are bidding up the prices of anything with the legendary “IH” name on it. Memo to management: Strip anything with that stupid “Navistar” name off whatever it’s stuck to and burn it! Customers don’t want the latest (too) high tech stuff, they want boring. Yup, they want the kind of boring trucks that don’t cause 3 am calls to the shop manager and surprise multi thousand dollar repair bills for stuff old IH trucks didn’t even have.

So lose the “Navistar” nonsense, then retake possession of the “IH” name and logos… Now that merged “CaseIH” has merged with “New Holland” and the rest of the brands wrapped up in their collective histories, there ain’t room on the side of a tractor for “CaseIHNewHolland” anyway. Then cut a deal with Cummins for big block power, ship the “small block” tooling back to Germany, and keep building the good ‘ol DT series engines. Back that up with universally available Eaton drivetrains and reopen the small town dealerships, and instead of flirting with bankruptcy you’ll be earning solid profits for another century or so!

Fat chance any of the above will happen…