THE 1455Xl has achieved an iconic status in the classic tractor scene. While not the most plentiful tractor in Ireland, these tractors are highly sought after.
The 1455 has collected many name tags over its impressive production run of almost 20 years- designed and manufactured by International Harvester initially, then badged and facelifted as Case International and later, Case IH.
Production of International’s heavyweight tractors, known as the FieldForce 55XL range, took place in city of Neuss, Germany.
Interestingly, the Neuss factory is on the river Rhine and surrounded by water on three sides.
The first IHC (International Harvester Company) 1455 rolled off the production line in 1979. Instantly recognisable by its cream wheel rims, grill and roof, the tractor was a responsive to the market need for heavier, higher horsepower tractors for the 1980s.
These early models were fitted with a Timmerman cab.
Powered by International’s six cylinder turbocharged DT402 engine, it produced a heavy hitting 145hp. Power to the wheels is via a fully synchronised ZF transmission, offering 20 forward gears and nine in reverse, selected by two well-placed levers to the right of the driver’s seat.
Internationals turbo-clutch allows for smooth take-offs and gear changes, especially under load, and is forgiving of heavy handed operators.
Impressive for its era, the 1455 has a lift capacity of 5.9tons, but its meagre oil flow of 50l/min is a little lacking. Weighing in at 5.5tons, it has an huge wheelbase of 2.7m, comparable to a 7810 John Deere.
In 1981, International introduced the popular XL cab, which only had four pillars, thanks to its cleverly designed rear window which wrapped around to the sides.
The large XL cab has excellent forward visibility due to its full front windscreen, a flat floored cab, passenger seat and boasted new levels of driver comfort.
Wide opening side doors, with windows that could also be put ajar, along with a deluxe suspension seat added to driver comfort.
In 1985, International Harvester was sold to the Case Tenneco company and all tractors were facelifted and rebranded as Case International. This is most noticeable in the 1455XL, due to the new decals, new red-over-black paintwork and silver wheels.
Further restructuring saw a minor facelift and the rebranding to Case IH in the early 90s.
The last real International Harvester, the final 1455XL, rolled off the production line on December 20th 1996, the 600,000th tractor produced at the Neuss factory, which closed the following year.
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