1961 Porsche Junior L108 Tractor ($55,000)
- Location: Santa Paula, California
- Chassis: 2993
- Engine: 822cc Single-Cylinder Porsche Diesel Engine
- Transmission: Six-Speed Manual
- Mileage: Unknown
- Color: Red | Off-White
The Porsche L108: Ferdinand’s Compact Form & Function Farm Machine
While it’s widely known that a certain infamous dictator ordered the concept of the “People’s Car” which became the Volkswagen Beetle, many aren’t aware the automobile was only half of the effort to motorize German citizens. An order for a reasonably priced, reliable, and robust tractor was also requested to meet the needs of rural residents.
Parallel with the development of the Volkswagen, Ferdinand Porsche was tasked with developing the Volks-Tractor in the early 1930s, with the first example made available in 1934. Although several variations were built, the L108 Junior (shown here) is widely considered the best looking model. It’s also the smallest (the Porsche Boxster of tractors, if you will) during its production run. But it wasn’t just the forward-thinking aesthetic design that made Porsche’s tractors so impressive; the mechanics of the machine were quite advanced for the time.
Most notably, the early models had a unique fluid coupling transmission connection, which made shifting through all six gears significantly smoother over more traditional arrangements. By 1960, the tractors gained another notable development by incorporating a new Bosch hydraulic lift system. PORSCHE-DIESEL had four primary models of significance—Junior, Standard, Super, and Master—all of which featured the same basic air-cooled diesel engine design, offered in 1 cylinder (14hp), 2 cylinders (25hp), 3 cylinders (38hp), or 4 cylinders (50hp).
During its production run between 1956-1963 an estimated 125,000 units in total, encompassing all models, were assembled. Of these only 1,000 were sold new in the United States. Very rare then in America, this mid-production range Junior offers a unique opportunity to own an attractive piece of utilitarian Porsche history.
Beginning in 1956, the entire PORSCHE-DIESEL lineup was finished in bright red with accenting off-white wheels and matching seat pan, a timeless combination that suits these machines beautifully. While most tractors from this period were very primitive in design with boxy cowls and crude assembly, the L108 and its brethren featured curvaceous front clips and construction tolerances the Germans have earned their reputation from. The rear wheel fenders offer full driver protection, unlike many ill-equipped competitors. The polished “PORSCHE DIESEL” lettering, “Junior” scripted badge, and small inlet grilles add some charm to the otherwise minimalistic but attractive design.
This L108 Junior was restored in early 2017 by a European Porsche tractor expert. The engine and transmission have been rebuilt to factory specifications and mechanical functions have no issues. The fenders, cowl, and frame were dismantled and professionally repainted back to the original factory-correct nonmetallic vibrant red paint. All badging is original and correct with excellent finish given its age. The seat and wheels were repainted in the correct off-white cream paint. The headlights, instruments, levers, and steering wheel are original to the tractor and have been cleaned, refurbished, and reinstalled with care.
Body – The fenders and front cowl are straight, original pieces and have been repainted to a very high standard.
Paint – The nonmetallic red paint is a respray in the correct factory color. The panels show no wear and the underside of the frame shows minimal imperfections.
Glass – The original headlights are free of pitting or cracks and remain clear.
Wheels – The large steel wheels are straight and have been repainted in the correct off-white color.
Steering Wheel, Seat & Levers – The simple three-spoke steering wheel is original and in very good condition. The original seat pan is undamaged and wears a fresh coat of off-white paint to match the wheels, per factory specification.
Instrumentation – The metal dash retains its original instruments, which are clean, clear, and functioning properly.
Engine – The original air-cooled single-piston 822cc diesel engine was professionally rebuilt.
- Original Motor: Yes.
- Engine Number: N/A
- The Drive: The single-cylinder diesel starts promptly, idles smoothly, and drives wonderfully.
Transmission – The correct six-speed manual transmission was also rebuilt and functions without issue.
- Original Transmission: Yes.
- Gearbox Number: N/A
- The Drive: The long manual lever shifts smoothly and in this case tractor-like handling is actually perfectly normal.
Aside from a professional respray and drivetrain rebuild, this L108 remains within factory specifications in the correct finished colors, and retains all of its original components.
1961 Porche Junior L108 Tractor – Bonhams Monterey 2017 – $77,000 inc/ premium – Restored example very similar to the one offered here.
Ready For Display Or Play — Whether it’s another addition to your personal automobilia enterprise or something you want to put back to work on the farm, this Porsche L108 Junior is a lovely example ready for display or play.
MEET THE SELLER
This car is for sale by Steffan Frisk of Formula Selected.