Articulated John Deere classics from the 1980s continue to sell for a lot of money in North America, but the price paid this 8850 takes some beating. The 1988-built tractor has just changed hands for an eye-watering US$111,000.

There is a very good reason for this because the tractor, which was sold by Hamilton-based (Illinois) Sullivan Auctioneers, is believed to be the last re-powered by Kinze in 2013.

Nowadays, the North American firm is best known for its chaser bins, planters and cultivators, but in 1968 the company began re-powering John Deere tractors, swapping the standard block in a 5020 for a 320hp Detroit Diesel V8. From 1968 to 1975 the company reckons to have re-powered around 200 5020s.

Fast forward to 1988, Kinze boss Jon Kinzebaw saw a need for a replacement engine on the Waterloo-built 86 series tractors. One of the first re-power projects was to squeeze a Cummins 855 block into an 8630. Kinze Power Products was established a year later and from 1988 to 2007 the company re-powered over 600 86-series tractors.

Each Kinze re-power was finished off with the ‘Kinze Man’ logo.

Numerous 8630s, 8640s and 8650s were converted, but the majority were 8850’s where the V8 was swapped for the Cummins engine. Completed in 2011, one of the most spectacular 8850 re-powers had two of the 360hp engines.

Back to the current 8850. Re-powered much later than the rest, the clock on the tractor shows 6,226 hours (last 1,000 were after the re-power). The tractor has clearly been well looked after and there is plenty of tread left on the 710/70R38 dual wheels.

Incidentally, this is not the highest price paid for a Kinze re-powered John Deere 8850. A 1982-built (2,550-hour) tractor recently sold for US$114,500.

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