Anyone who ventured into the centre of Case IH’s display at Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show in Woodstock, Ontario, in September was rewarded for their efforts with a real surprise. The company had chosen to display a few classic Case and International Harvester tractors surrounded by examples of it’s new equipment. And the most unique tractor in that group of classics was a nearly perfect example of a very rare 1971, 970 Case Golden Demonstrator.
Owned by a private collector, the 970 was displayed with a copy of its original factory build sheet proving it did, indeed, leave the factory as an original Golden Demonstrator, or Black Knight as they were also known.
This tractor has lived a relatively leisurely life, with on 5,642 hours showing on the tach.
Although standard production 70 Series models were initially painted “Desert Sand” (tan), limited edition Demonstrators were given the unique black and gold paint scheme as a marketing tool to draw attention to the new design, which was introduced in 1970. Case wanted farmers to get behind the wheels of the demonstration models, try them out and exprience the comfort for themselves.
These were the first models from Case to make a serious effort at creating a comfortable environment for the operator, with air conditioned and quiet — or relatively quiet for the time — cabs. Case’s advertising in the day claimed the cab was “as quiet as your living room with the kids at school.”
Efforts aimed at operator comfort on the previous 30 Series Case models, which were discontinued in 1969, were limited to adding a padded seat with suspension and painting the name “Comfort King” on the side panels.
According to the Farm Equipment Guide, the cabbed 970s debuted with a price tag of US$19,490. Using the Bank of Canada’s inflation rate calculator, it would cost today’s equivalent of about CAN$115,560, not accounting for the difference in exchange rates.