The Gold Bug - 1959 Ford 881 Gold Demonstrator

The Gold Bug - 1959 Ford 881 Gold Demonstrator
The Gold Bug - 1959 Ford 881 Gold Demonstrator

Ford had a great idea in 1959 with its revolutionary Select-O-Speed transmission, and there were about 2500 gold-painted tractors distributed for dealers to promote the innovation. An avid collector, Vernon Konradi of Batesville, Ind. paid $4000 for this Model 881 in 2008 and hauled it 15 miles back home for restoration. Under Vernon’s care, the tractor was totally disassembled and overhauled — except the transmission, which worked perfectly. Longtime friend Larry Belter, who had retired from a body shop business, custom-mixed the gold paint and sprayed all the parts for Vernon to reassemble in time for the tractor’s 50th Anniversary in 2009. Wherever he takes the tractor, the gleaming gold paint creates a stir. It is so popular, he named the tractor Miss Jill in honor of his wife. 

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