WILMINGTON — A 1952 8N Ford tractor, driven by former NASCAR driver Jack Donohue, eclipsed the 100-mph mark in a land speed event at the Wilmington Air Park last weekend.
Donohue visited the Ohio Mile in Wilmington last September with his 8N and turned in a top speed in the standing mile of 96.3 mph.
This time around, the Ford flathead V8-powered tractor turned in an eye-catching 101.2 mph.
“Wow, unbelievable,” Donohue said while high-fiving his crew after the run.
“Who would believe a 64-year-old farm tractor could ever reach a speed like that?” he asked.
The Ford 8N tractor is regarded as one of the most recognized farm tractors in history. Built between 1947 and 1952, the 8N has been described as one of the most iconic American farm tractors ever.
Donohue built the tractor himself and stayed with as much of the original configuration as possible, including a Ford flathead V8 engine, which was an optional dealer add-on between 1949 and 1952 and was known as a Funk V8 conversion.
When asked if he expects to get any more speed out of his little 8N, Donohue said, “Only if we can get on a longer run with it. One of the courses at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah is two miles and it runs in mid-August. If we can piece together enough sponsorship between now and then, we might just give it a shot.”
Donohue was reared on a dairy farm.
Carrie Green with Donohue Motorsports provided this article.