1978 Case 1570 Agri King
Case was within sight of the top power tier of the tractor market when it debuted the 70 series tractors in 1969. Just in time for the ‘70s. The ‘70s…. 70 Series… get it? The top dog rear drive tractor in the 70 lineup at the time was the 1370, though the four-wheel drive 1470 had basically the same 504 cubic inch turbocharged six but four wheel drive to give it more pull. The 1370 and 1470 were rated by Nebraska at 144 and 145 PTO horsepower respectively. A later 1370 test listed the 1370 at 155 PTO ponies, an increase that came from boosting the peak rpm from 2000 to 2200 rpm which certainly gave it bragging rights in that realm. For 1976, Case decided to up the ante a little.
The “Ahhnold” of Case Tractors
The 1570 came for 1976 with power that challenged the limits traction… a whopping 180 PTO horsepower. That was a 30 horse boost from the higher of the two 1370 Nebraska test numbers and the 1370 was already a heavy hitter. This put the 1570 at the top tier of rear-drive tractor output for a brief moment. We have discussed many times the traction limitations of applying power on rear drive tractors. The answer was twofold, four-wheel drive and/or rear duals and case built tractors to answer them both ways.
In looking at the market, we can see the 1570 was built to answer the needs of a big slice of the market that responded to big horsepower hype but couldn’t swing the 30 percent price premium a four-wheel drive tractor commanded. The 1570’s contemporary, the ‘72-79 2470, which had roughly the same PTO output as the 1570, was about $43K vs $30K for the 1570. In ideal conditions, a 1570 with rear duals could come close to equaling the 2470’s pulling power and that’s all a lot of farmers, particularly rowcrop farmers, needed.
The 1570 was pretty much built for dual rear tires. It had oversized rear axle shafts that were 3.875-inches in diameter versus 3.50-inches on the next -up Case, the 1370. Most you saw in the field doing heavy tillage used duals but a rowcrop farmer could remove those duals, set his wheel track and tip-toe down the rows as needed . Other measures were taken to beef up the powertrain as needed, such as an increased number of plates in the Power Shift system but the big 70 Series units had a reputation for stout and reliable final drives.
Bang for Buck
The $30,000 1570 delivered a lot of bang for the buck beyond the big power. It came standard with a 12-speed gearbox equipped with the 3-speed Power shift. The four-speed main box incorporated a Ravigneaux style planetary gear set that deliver three ranges in each of the four main gears, ratios spaced approximately 25 percent apart. The Ravigneaux setup was used because unlike some systems, mostly earlier, it did not have a freewheeling component. The final drive came standard with a differential lock.
A rubber-mounted cab (which incorporated ROPS) was standard on the 1570 along with the “Easy-Rider, fully adjustable swivel seat. Air conditioning and heat were also standard, as well as an adjustable steering column. These were getting to be common in this era but older farmers were still grinning at the features making their later farming years more comfortable. Many of these features were mimicked in the 2470, which could be called the four-wheel drive brother of the 1570.
The 1570 lived up to it’s “Agri King” moniker by being equipped for all faming venues. It was beefy and powerful enough to work in a wheatland environment, but it also had adjustable wheel tracks and a Class III 3-point hitch for rowcrop use. Standard was a 1000 rpm PTO and one set of rear tires. Options were many, from an 8-track stereo to extra hydraulic remotes.
The 1570 was introduced in 1976, the Bicentennial year. No self respecting marketing departs would let that anniversary go by without a special model. Case delivered on that with the Spirit of ‘76, a red white and blue 1570 that was supposed to be built in just 200 copies. If you look up 1570 online, most likely, you’ll see a 1570 Spirit of ‘76. They are easy to clone so there may be more clones than actual survivors.
A Short Run
The 1570 had a short run, just three years. Production ran from January of 1976 through December of 1978 to the tune of 3,870 units. It was replace by a nearly identical unit, the ‘79-83 2590 when the updated 90 Series tractors debuted. The 90 Series delivered a lot of cosmetic and feature changed to basically a 1570 tractor under the skin. Jack Lawrence’s 1978 pictured here was one of only 904 built in 1978, with nearly 1,600 built in each year of ‘76 and ‘77. The ‘76 numbers includes the Spirit of ‘76 units.
History has bestowed a good reputation on the 1570. They weren’t at the top on any category but excelled everywhere and were a good value for the dollar. Today, Case tractors are among the most reasonably priced collector tractors, so in the case of a 1570 Case, you can get a lot of collectible tractor very reasonably and it’s a tractor that’s still up to a lot of work if needed.