1970 IH 544 Hydro Demonstrator | Octane Press

1970 IH 544 Hydro Demonstrator

Gold Demonstrator Series #1

1970 544 DEMONSTRATOR
Owned by Randy Van Wyhe

This is the first in a series of five posts about the Gold Demonstrator Series tractors.
Read Part Two: The 1970 656 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.

ABOUT THE TRACTOR
This 544 gold demonstrator is a very rare tractor. So rare that owner Randy Van Wyhe doesn’t think another exists. The machine came out of Maine, and at some point the gold exterior paint done to celebrate an IH anniversary was painted over in red. The machine had tell-tale original gold paint under the hood and toolbox, which is how restorers authenticate these tractors. The machine was sold at auction by Edward Leaman, the well-known auctioneer from Willow Street, Pennsylvania. Bo Miller from Tennessee won that auction, and later sold the tractor to Van Wyhe. He took it to restorers Danny Anderson and Josh Olson, who teamed up to put it into the pristine condition above. While you may see other 544 Hydros with a diesel engine, Van Wyhe has yet to see another gold demonstrator of this model. 


This is the first in a series of five posts about the Gold Demonstrator Series tractors.
Read Part Two: The 1970 656 Demonstrator, HERE.  
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