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Saturday, May 28, 2016

The Plymouth Silver King ‘Orchard’ is One Classy Tractor


Copyright © 2016 Bold Ride LLC.

If ‘ol Jay Gatsby had owned a tractor, I have to imagine it would have been a Plymouth Silver King Orchard. It’s not often that you’d hear anyone with all their teeth describe a tractor as stunning, but I’m not missing any of my chompers, and I’m declaring this tractor a work of art. Lucky for you, it’s heading to auction.
Of the 214 Silver Kings that were built, this is the only known Orchard model in existence. If that didn’t make it rare enough already, it also carries the distinction of being the first tractor designed to wear rubber tires instead of studded steel wheels. This effectively brought the tractor out of the fields and onto the roads, thus paving the way for the modern commercial and personal agricultural vehicles.

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Could you imagine operating a riding mower with studded steel wheels? Sure, it would aerate while you mow, but it’d make quite a racket when you drive down the street to get gas.
The Silver King Orchard also pushed the segment forward with a lightweight design, that was both beautiful and functional. The art deco wheel covers are specific to the Orchard model and aside from making it look cool, they must have also been handy in containing debris coming off the tires.

 Since the small four cylinder Hercules IXB engine and four speed transmission could get this thing up to 25 mph, those cowls would most definitely be welcome on the drive home after working in a muddy field.

Not much is known about the history of this example, but it appears to have been well cared for, and would look right at home on the floor of a museum. The silver body and dark royal blue wheel color combo is factory correct, and those color matched royal blue hand grips are a subtle touch that further adds to the outstanding visual package.

This is one bare bones piece of equipment that I expect someone will be very happy with, whether they want to add it to a collection, or use it to gallivant around their expansive beachside estate.

Photo Credit: Mecum Auctions