Thursday, September 1, 2016

1930 J.I. Case Model L

Looking like it just rolled off the the J.I. Case assembly line in Racine Wisconsin, This 1930 Model L was exhibited at the Tri- State Antique Power Association 2016 Show by owners Charles and Glenna Barkley.

In production from 1929 to 1940 Case manufactured 31,678 Model L tractors over that 11 year production run.

Rated for 3 to 4 plows and weighing in at 5307 to 8025 pounds it was a big, powerful tractor for it’s day. Powered by a Case 403 cubic inch four cylinder engine it provided ample power for plowing and was especially popular for belt work like threshing and powering sawmills.

Case literature claimed 32 hp on the drawbar and 45 hp from the PTO but the Nebraska Test rated it at 40.8 drawbar and 47.04 hp on the belt. For those who might be wondering what a Nebraska Test is, an interesting digression is in order.

Back in the day before politicians discovered they could create a “Foundation”  to
launder their bribes, kickbacks and payola from foreign powers for facilitating espionage, some of them actually had to work for a living. Like most of his constituents State Representative Wilmont F. Crozier was a farmer and he had been repeatedly burned by fly by night tractor salesmen. Together with State Senator Charles J. Warner he introduced a bill that became the Nebraska Tractor Test Law in 1919. Every tractor sold in Nebraska was required to be evaluated by a team of engineers at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. The results of these test were then made available to the public.

Testing began with a Waterloo Boy Model N 12-25 on March 31, 1920 and has continued to the present day. It has proved so valuable to consumers that it quickly became a national and is now an international standard. You can view and download the report on your favorite tractor’s performance by visiting the University of Nebraska Lincoln website at


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