In my area, the ag economics crashed about the time the N came into existance. It was an expensive machine and at that time, about 1980, probably 90% of the area farmers were still from the horse and buggy and steam and stationary thresher days. Seriously, most farmers here were from those days and the new technology in the gleaners was somewhat overwhelming. Thats not to say they would'nt have adapted, just the finacial theories of that generation were different.
At that time I was about 16 or 17 years old. I remember the local AC dealer having a new N and we still had our old L. When I had the chance to sit in the cab of the new machine, I was simply in awe. Switches and lights everywhere. Allmost no levers. I thought it was the coolest freek'n thing I'd ever seen. But,....I was not the check writer so.........
About that same time, there was a White dealer that had just started in business and only stayed in business for a few years locally. He brought out a rotor machine to demo for a few hours. Of course there just was not any money to spend on a new machine at the time, and the dealers were getting desperate.
Interest rates were getting stupid and the belts were getting tighter. Eventually things came around, but the long term established dealers had either quit or changed their lineup.
Personally, I have mixed thoughts looking back, but I think one of the things that put the hurt on the gleaner here was the timing of the introduction, no neccessarily the model change. Had the ag economy been better, a few more machines may have sold.
I also feel that the natural flow concept has so much more to offer. Very similar to the Laverda concept machine. Its really too bad some old millionaire does'nt pickup on the potential and take up a new hobby.