The Case 1370: Welcome to the Jet Age, folks…

Case 1370 Agri King
In the mid-70s, the 1370 was the top dog in the Case 2WD lineup. This one lives in Nebraska until January 28, 2021 when the hammer falls and it goes home to a new owner. Click the photo to get the details!

SEE THE AUCTION LISTING FOR THIS TRACTOR

Today, we head back to the 70s to take a look at the pride of Racine…the Case 1370 Agri King. Built from 1971-1978, the company rolled 17,413 of these big brutes out the door. And for a few of those years, the 1370 was the best bang for the buck as far as PTO horsepower was concerned!

Welcome to the Jet Age

In the early 70s, J.I. Case was more or less focused on construction equipment. But when they became a branch of Tenneco in 1970 (and a pretty large capital investment, no doubt), that changed. With the announcement of the 70-series tractors, farming came back into focus in a big way.

The 70-series line was a pretty major shift for Case. Until now, the company had always been known for building tough, but practical, farm equipment. Good bones, but no extras. To put it another way…if the old Case was still building tractors today, there wouldn’t be a “luxury cab” option with heated and cooled leather seats and a fridge for your lunch. That wasn’t the way they did things.

However, the 70-series tractors were high-tech and high-style machines with plenty of performance to match – especially the 1370. In 1972, it was the top dog for Case as far as 2WD row-crops went.

High-Performance 

The Case 1370 had good bones. A beefy frame, a big honkin’ motor with a turbo, and a 12-speed partial power shift transmission. As far as I’m concerned, it’s hard to go wrong with those. The 504 cubic inch motor was powerful, turning over 142 horse on the PTO dyno in 1972 when it was first tested. In and of itself, that was a great number. But midway through 1973, Case twisted the motor’s tail a little tighter…and on the re-test, they turned 155 horse! (That’s factory tuning, mind you – not a farmer turning up the pump screw a little bit…)

1370 Big Cubes
Case made no bones about having one of the biggest motors on the block. The only 2WD row crop tractor with a bigger mill under the hood was Deere’s 6030 with a 531!

High Tech

On the technology front, the Jet Age tractors came with more innovations than ever. One of the most impressive ones was the transmission. Case’s engineers re-cast the housing so that everything – forks, valves, the works – was accessible from the bottom or sides, as opposed to the top. That saved a ton of time and effort when it came to service and repair, because you didn’t have to tear the cab off to get it out of the way. Even if you had to split the tractor, the cab and platform could stay bolted in place.

1370 Closed Top TransmissionMaking the transmission’s innerds accessible from underneath the tractor was a pretty major innovation!

When it came to cabs, Case was forward-thinking there, too. They didn’t go quite as far as Deere did with the Sound Gard bodies, but they did isolate the cab from the top of the transmission with rubber bushings and an air gap. The air gap was pretty helpful in helping the transmission run a little cooler. It also made the cab quieter, and cooler too!

1370 Cab Advertising
Case was one of the first manufacturers to take cabs and operator comfort seriously. Deere took it one step further with the Sound Gard body design, but at the time, the 70-series cabs were a big leap forward.

High Style

Among the boxes on the Case 1370’s order form, there were a couple that I took a liking to. I’m a big guy, and one of my biggest peeves is banging my knees on the dash or the steering wheel when I get into a vehicle (of any kind). Case included options for a 90˚ tilt and telescoping wheel! That’s awfully handy! The other one I really liked was the optional bucket seat (which I’ve never actually seen). I’m not sure if Case was catering to a market of farmers who drove Porsches on weekends or if it was a nod to their involvement in racing way back in the early part of the century, but I thought it was neat.

1370 Cab
The fisheye lens used for this photo makes the cab look about as big as your living room (it really wasn’t). One thing this photo shows really well is the tilt/telescoping wheel in the upright position. Really handy for tall guys with long legs!

The 1370 at auction

This particular Case 1370 currently lives about a half hour east of Sioux City until January 28, 2021. It’s been repainted at some point (either partially or maybe the whole thing), but it’s survived the years reasonably well. As is typical of these older tractors, the hour meter gave up long ago, so the 7532 hours it shows aren’t accurate. I’ve been playing phone tag with the folks at CHJ Auctioneers, but I’ll update info as I get it.

Values

Like a lot of 50-year old tractors these days, you can pretty much name your price on the Case 1370. Our Iron Comps database has recorded auction prices within the past year or two from everywhere between $1,000 and upwards of $10,000. But, based on what I’ve seen on the auction listing, I was able to narrow down the list of comparable sales using hours and location of sale and then eyeball it based on the auctioneer’s photos. Iron Comps created a custom average value of the tractors I’d selected, which makes it pretty easy to figure out what a tractor like this will sell for! When it’s all said and done, based on our Iron Comps data, I think it’ll probably sell for somewhere around $4500-5000.

Screen Shot 2021 01 21 At 09.41.25 AM
Here are a few of the comparable sales that I used to create the custom average for CHJ’s Case 1370. Those green checkmarks are all figured into the custom average. I can click into each of those boxes to learn more about the tractor and the auction. Click the photo to go the Iron Comps website and start your free trial today!

BTW, our Iron Comps data goes a lot deeper than hours, location, and a few photos. We’re tracking a ton of filterable data that you can use to quickly get to a reliable value. It’s been a big help to dealers and farmers all over the country! Give it a look sometime and sign up for a free trial! I’ll bet you learn a lot about what iron (both old and new) is REALLY worth!

Sign up for a free trial of Iron Comps here.

These old Case 1370s are great tractors, provided that they haven’t been beaten like a red-headed step-child! They’re pretty nimble, so they can get in and out of tight spaces. That makes them pretty handy for loader duty, mowing, etc. The 504 is a brute of a motor, too, so it’ll have a ton of low-end grunt.

Wrapping up…

As these tractors get older, the transmissions will typically be the first thing to go. But at the end of the day, fifty year old stuff DOES tend to wear out. Fortunately, parts are fairly easy to find, and they’re not terribly difficult to work on. If you do end up needing to find the right parts for the job, I know the guys at Elmer’s Repair are pretty well-stocked! They’re good folks who are absolutely passionate about Case tractors, too!

Big Temptation
This is the meanest Case 1370 on Planet Earth. I picked off this shot at the Lucas Oil PPL event in Hillsboro, WI back in 2019. (Aside from the paint, there’s almost nothing on this tractor that would’ve been factory stock on a 1370! That’s 504 cubic inches of alcohol-burning turbocharged goodness right there…probably close to 4000 horsepower!)

SEE THE AUCTION LISTING FOR THIS TRACTOR

 

Super Beast Mode: The Allis Chalmers 8550

allis chalmers 8550 super beast
Big. Bad. Orange. This one-owner 8550 sells on Tuesday, August 4! Click the photo for the details on this monster!

Allis Chalmers was covering new ground during the 70s. The ground-breaking 7000 series was selling well, and they’d dipped their toes in the 4WD tractor market with the Steiger-built 440 earlier in the decade. Things were going well enough that in 1976, they unleashed “The Beast” – the 7580. It was AC’s first in-house 4WD tractor, and sported a bunch of nice improvements over the outgoing 440.

But…at 186 PTO horse, it was a little wussy for such a big tractor. Customers needed more.

In 1977, AC unleashed a badder animal…8550, known as The Super Beast. Where The Beast got its power from the 426, The Super Beast used one of the biggest motors Allis ever stuffed in a tractor. 731 ci of twin-turbo muscle, rated at 253 PTO horse! This tractor was literally so big that they had to disassemble part of it to get it into the Nebraska lab to test it!

This particular 8550 is a one-owner ’79 model with only 5342 hours, and it’s in GREAT shape for its age! Not only that, it still sees regular use on the farm! It lives in Indiana until Tuesday…then we’ll see where this big tractor ends up!

BTW: Funny story about another Super Beast…back in the day, AC had a strong marketing partnership with Loretta Lynn. They had a working hobby-type ranch in Tennessee, and farmed with orange tractors. Early one Sunday morning, one of the local dealers got a frantic call from Loretta’s husband Mooney. Apparently he’d learned that Super Beasts can’t swim. I believe the story goes that there’d been a little Saturday night drinking involved, and he’d driven it into a pond and cooked the motor in the process.

After a bit of “discussion” between the involved parties, Allis replaced the motor in that tractor, and it’s still working on a farm in Ohio today!

Super Beasts don’t come up for auction every day…but lots of other Allis Chalmers equipment does! Browse it all here!