The N's were fast. We had neighbors that had a couple and I dont ever recall seeing anyone able to combine that fast. Didn't seem to matter whether it was small grains or sunflowers. We certainly couldn't come close with 8820s and the others with the 1480s couldnt run that fast either. Dew slowed them down some. Maybe thats were the nickname came from.
The N7 Gleaner and the John Deere 8820 Turbo was the only machines offered at that time in the late seventies that would handle a 12-row corn head. A Gleaner would run circles around a 8820 in corn although the 8820 was a very good and reliable machine. In my neck of the woods at one time there was allot of Gleaners running around. I always though the conventional Gleaners seemed to be a little more reliable than the Natural Flow Rotors. The Gleaner just seemed to be faster in allot of crops and also offered the largest grain bin for many years. The Air Cooled Deutz engine in the R Series machines sounded awesome. They later switched to Cummins motors. Back in the day they was the flag ship machine. Later Cat came out with a 16-row machine and that put a new machine at the top. Now they all are pretty much neck and neck as far as capacity and size although the Cat Lexion 770 is a class 10 machine.
I should mention too at this time the Massey Ferguson combine and Gleaner Super Series does not yet offer a 16 row machine but Im sure they are working on it.