The Survivor Tractor


The Survivor Tractor is a fully-restored, 1939 Ford 9N tractor dedicated to raising funds for cancer research. Over the years, the tractor has been auctioned to a new buyer, with 100% of the funds going to various cancer charities. In 2016, New Holland brought The Survivor Tractor back to its heritage to begin a new journey of giving. This is its story:

In the early 2000s, a tractor sat idle in an old southern Maryland barn. Its days of working in the field were over. Now it was time to take on a new challenge.

This vintage tractor was destined to become a symbol of strength and hope in the face of adversity. The Survivor Tractor was the brainchild of Charles Beaver, farmer and owner of Still Creek Vineyards in historic St. Mary’s County, Maryland. Like so many families, the Beaver family had been touched by cancer.

Charles knew the fine work of the Cancer Support Group and wanted to give back to an organization that had given so much to his family. Living in an area steeped in history and agriculture, where antique tractors are especially treasured, he distributed flyers explaining his mission and asking for a vintage tractor donation.

A gentleman who wished to remain anonymous at the time came forward and donated the Ford 9N, while a local collision shop donated the restoration and painted it a brilliant shade of purple; the universal color of hope for cancer survivors.


Since 2014, The Survivor Tractor has been bought and sold over and over again through the auction community. Each time, 100 percent of the proceeds were donated to charity. Recipients included an elementary school, a young girl battling a rare neurological disorder, families struggling with medical expenses and charities involved in the fight against cancer.

In 2016, New Holland Agriculture purchased The Survivor Tractor. Thanks to a matching donation from Wolgemuth Auction, the sale resulted in a $32,000 donation to the Ann B. Barshinger Cancer Institute at Lancaster General Hospital in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. New Holland Agriculture celebrated the next phase of The Survivor's journey with a campaign of giving throughout 2017 and into 2018 in honor of the 100th anniversary of the first mass-produced tractor.

In an effort to raise funds for the American Cancer Society, the Survivor appeared at the Pennsylvania Farm Show, took a parade lap around the Daytona International Speedway at the Daytona 500, had a flying “Flugtag” craft modeled after it, and it continued to travel North America, stopping at New Holland dealerships, farm shows, and other events, all with the mission of raising funds to support cancer education, research and the search for a cure.

See videos of The Survivor Tractor’s journey here.


As a symbol of strength in the face of adversity, The Survivor Tractor was the anchor of a two-year effort to share survivor stories, increasing awareness and funding for the fight against cancer. In 2018, the mission became even more personal for the New Holland community after one of its employees lost his battle with cancer.

“We always intended to donate the money raised through the New Holland Survivor Tractor efforts to the American Cancer Society”, said Bret Lieberman, Vice President of New Holland North America. “What we didn’t realize was how this cause would hit close to home around the timing [of the end of the campaign]. Our New Holland family recently lost one of our own through a brave fight with lymphoma. His name was Tony Resh. We wish for the money raised during the past year to be accepted by the American Cancer Society in honor and remembrance of him: our colleague and friend, and an incredible man, husband and father.”

New Holland completed its two-year-long Survivor Tractor campaign at the end of 2018 the way it began: with an auction raising awareness and money for cancer research. The tractor was auctioned off for $8,000 to Mr. Joseph “Bubby” Knott, the original donated 9N tractor owner , on Saturday, November 10, at the Mecum Auctions Iowa Premier 2018 in Davenport, Iowa.

Over the course of the campaign, New Holland raised more than $100,000 for the American Cancer Society and localized support organizations identified through participating New Holland dealers. New Holland was honored to build a campaign which raised awareness and connected communities through the fight against cancer and the celebration of survivors.

Watch some of their stories here.

... and The Survivor Tractor lives on.

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