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The Magnum turns 25

If something works for you, you stick with it. That seems to be the best explanation for the 25-year production run of Case IH’s line of Magnum tractors. The company is now celebrating that silver anniversary with a limited production run of 100 special edition tractors. Over the next few months, those 2013 model-year, 340, powershift Magnums, each with a unique silver and red livery, will be sold to a waiting list of customers in Canada and the U.S.

“Celebrating this milestone allows us to recognize the Magnum tractor’s reputation of innovation, reliability and productivity,” says Dan Klein, marketing manager for Magnum tractors. “The Magnum has maintained its market position as the leading high-horsepower row crop tractor, and we expect this to continue.”

At a media event held near the company’s corporate headquarters in Racine, Wisconsin, in early August, one of only two anniversary Magnums built to that date was shown to reporters just ahead of its public debut, which was scheduled for the U.S. Farm Progress Show in Iowa later that month.

In a picturesque corner of the Racine fairgrounds, that new Magnum was parked alongside the oldest living Magnum, a 7130, which bears serial number two. (Serial number one no longer exists.) The old 7130 now spends most of its time in the Case IH museum at the company’s Burr Ridge, Illinois, facility.

IH tradition

By creating a unique anniversary edition tractor, Case IH is drawing on an old IH tradition, which saw that company create many unique machines to celebrate production milestones over the years.

The original Magnum models were, like the then-new company, itself, a blending of both the Case and International Harvester brands. The transaxle assembly that delivered engine power to the rear wheels was the product of R&D done by engineers at IH shortly before the corporate merger. The angular hood shape was reminiscent of the style used on Case tractors since the introduction of the 70 Series, while the cab could trace its inspiration back to 86 Series IH tractors.

The new Magnums gave the company an updated model with something, it was hoped, that both die-hard Case and IH customers would find familiar enough to continue their brand loyalties. And by being the first tractor to wear the current shade of Case IH red paint, it helped transition those customers to the new brand.

The Magnum line

Originally, the Magnum line consisted of only four models. But today, that number has grown to nine with the promise of a tenth, 370 horsepower model for the 2014 model year. The company has since abandoned the original choice of Cummins power in favour of its sister company’s FPT (Fiat Power Train) diesels. The MultiControl armrest and console that Case IH uses in most of its powered equipment is also now the standard control array in the Magnum line, and it has been for a while.

That kind of continual upgrading seems to be the secret to the Magnum’s longevity. “Customer input has been the key ingredient to the successful design of Magnum tractors,” says Klein.

Although the production run of limited-edition, anniversary Magnums is already spoken for, you can still get a little something special if you opt to buy one of the regular models to be built over the next year. A 25th anniversary decal will be applied to the hoods of all 2013 model-year Magnums.

For a video look at the latest Magnums, check out e-Quip TV online. To find it, go to www.grainews.ca and click on the videos link. †

About the author

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Scott Garvey

Scott Garvey is a freelance writer and video producer. He is also the former machinery editor at Grainews.

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