1936 Marx, Self Reversing Climbing Tractor in Original Box

1936 Marx, Self Reversing Climbing Tractor in Original Box

The Marx company originated and developed of a clockwork toy vehicle that once it makes contact with an immovable object it will automatically reverse its direction. This differs from a reversible vehicle which requires the switching of a lever to change direction.

Historically, the company also produced a self reversible streamlined coupe (1936) with stock lithography (standard car), Blondie's Jalopy (1941), and Charlie McCarthy & Mortimer Snerd Private Car (1939). All three used the same base automobile. I thought these were the only self-reversible vehicles Marx produced; until I found this Self Reversing Climbing Tractor. It's the only example I've seen and it comes with it's original box! Of course it's also the only box for this toy I've seen.

Marx designed the toy by incorporating the same 8½" tractor body used on many of their other tractors. But that's where the similarity ends. Striking an immovable object the wide bumpers on the front and rear engage and disengage a separate gear causing it to automatically reverse direction. Both the motor and reversing mechanism work, however after nearly 80 years due to metal fatigue and age it needs a little coaxing to complete the gear change. I wound it up a just a couple turns and it worked great. The bumpers only need a nudge to reverse direction.

The lever to the left of the driver switches the motor on or off. It's not used to change direction.

The driver is unusual in that it holds onto a bar rather than the steering wheel. The bar connects to the reversing mechanism and leans forward or sits back depending on the movement of the tractor. The farmer type  driver is particularly scarce with blue overalls and red shirt.

The toy is all tin litho with a pressed steel enclosed clockwork motor. The wheels are also pressed steel. It runs on both of its original black rubber treads. It also comes complete with it's original correct key.

And then there's the box, which I think is just as fantastic as the toy; possibly more so. Like the toy I've never seen it before. It features a full panel detailed illustration of a smiling farmer in the driver's seat cascading up and over a pile of rocks. The same illustration was repeated on every panel. The end flaps contain all text. One set of flaps is the locking style and were designed never to be opened. The opposite end has the standard interior/exterior flaps for opening. It's complete except for one inner flap on the locking flap end because someone attempted to open it.

It also includes its original cardboard insert. It's the first time I've seen an insert specifically designed for any Marx tractor.

It originally sold through the 1936 Sears-Roebuck Christmas catalog for $1.59.

Size: 10". 

Sold: Nov. 2015

Price Sold: $ 1300


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Subject: 1936 Marx, Self Reversing Climbing Tractor in Original Box

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