1970 IH 656 Demonstrator

Gold Demonstrator Series #2
post by
Lee Klancher
Media Name: 1970_656_zarse-02.jpg
Owned by Bob Zarse
This is the second in a series of five posts about the Gold Demonstrator Series tractors.
Read Part Three: The 1970 826 Demonstrator, HERE.  

The Gold Demonstrator program was used by International Harvester to market their machines in 1970. Similar special paint schemes had been used in the past as sales tools, notably the white letter series machines in 1950. The only change made to the tractors was the paint scheme, and the only way to verify a gold demonstrator is to find original gold paint on it. This program was a somewhat confusing execution, as the idea was to promote their new hydrostatic tractors but demonstrators were available as gear drive machines. Also a bit odd was the fact that many of the models in the program were at the end of the model life. The models included were the 544, 656, 826, 1026, and the 1456.
This rare 1970 International 656 Utilility Row Crop is one of only two gold demonstrator row crop utilities known to exist. Records on the demonstrators have been lost, and how many were built in the first place is not entirely certain. This one came out of tobacco country from Conway, North Carolina. Bob Zarse is the third owner of the machine. He purchased it in original condition, and left the original gold paint under the hood. He also preserved the original fenders with the gold paint visible, and installed a set of vintage fenders on the restoration. The other 656 Gold Demonstrator is in Stuart Paquette’s museum in Leesburg, Florida. 

This is the second in a series of five posts about the Gold Demonstrator Series tractors. 
Read Part Three: The 1970 826 Demonstrator, HERE.