The Ford 9N was introduced in 1939. The 9N would have been an even greater success in terms of sales were it not for the outbreak of the Second World War and American participation in 1941, a development which made raw materials for production of the Ford farm tractors difficult to acquire. Because of this, in 1942, Ford was forced to cease production of the 9N in favor of the 2N, a revised version of the tractor designed to use materials that were not as scarce. The 2N was basically the same as the 9N in terms of specifications, but some featured steel wheels and replaced the generator and battery with a magneto.
The 9N was made is 1939, the 2N in 1942 and the 8N in 1948. The serial and motor numbers are incorporated on the left-hand side of the engine block. The original paint colors for the 9N and 2N were painted a solid gray. The 9N and 2N were equipped with a three speed transmission, and the clutch pedal on the left side with both brake pedals on the right side. The ignition system on the 9N, 2N and early 8N employed a front mount distributor. Before the three point hitch would work, the PTO had to be engaged on all models. Many other differences exist, but for identification purposes these are the most obvious characteristics.
Edsel, Fords son, died in 1943, prompting Henry Ford to come back as President of Ford. But in his advanced age he was unable to effectively run the company, and soon stepped aside in favor of his grandson, Henry Ford II, in September 1945. Henry Ford would die in April 1947, at the age of 83. The man who had brought the automobile into the homes of average Americans and who had pioneered the assembly line and the instruments of mass production had passed.