Versatile sparked plenty of buzz on social media with news the tractor company is going back to its old colours for a run of 50th anniversary models in 2016. The online hoopla moved into the real world at the Western Canadian Crop Production Show in Saskatoon last week as the first retro-looking model to roll out of the company’s manufacturing plant in Winnipeg made its debut.
As Versatile’s Larry Saunders explains in the video above, the limited edition models will be identical to the company’s other 4-wheel-drive DeltaTrack and wheel machines, with the exception of the red, yellow and black paint scheme, a custom leather seat and a plaque marking the 50th anniversary.
“There’s been a lot a excitement and a lot of interest. We have orders in the system and the program just started,” he says.
The total number to be built is not yet finalized, but Saunders says they leaning toward only making 50 units to mark the half-century milestone, noting they’ll be built in May and June and presented to owners in July. For a premium of approximately $10,000, buyers of the 50th anniversary models will also receive a trip to Winnipeg for a tour of the Versatile plant and a chance to win a 1966 Chevy half-ton refurbished with the traditional Versatile colours.
So what is it about the traditional Versatile look that’s spurred this excitement? Saunders attributes it to their tractors’ longevity and serviceability. “There are still a lot of tractors that are well over 30 years old that are still running, so that heritage is out there,” he says.
The retro DeltaTrack machine unveiled in Saskatoon will be in Brandon for Manitoba Ag Days before heading to several farm shows in the U.S., including the National Farm Machinery Show in Louisville in early February.