Records fall as vintage farm machinery goes up for sale

A fully restored MK1 Land Rover sold for £36,000

A fully restored MK1 Land Rover sold for £36,000 - Credit: Archant

More records fell as an East Anglian farmer put another collection of historically important tractors and related vehicles, machinery and memorabilia under the hammer last week.

Hunday sale.

Hunday sale. - Credit: Archant

Paul Rackham, who was born in Peasenhall and now farms at Camp Farm, near Thetford, sold what was considered to be the most complete group of vintage Ferguson tractors and implements in the world on Saturday.

It was the second high-profile auction in as many months for the 79-year-old enthusiast, who had already sold one of the UK’s largest private collections of rare vintage tractors in September, making £1.5million.

The most recent sale generated plenty of interest and included £8,400 paid for a Ferguson beet topper, said to be a record price for a Ferguson implement.

In total the Hunday Collection, which included 73 tractors and 100 implements along with other memorabilia and literature, fetched more than £500,000, well above the expected price of £400,000.

A Ferguson beet topper sold for £8,400 - a record amount for a Ferguson implement.

A Ferguson beet topper sold for £8,400 - a record amount for a Ferguson implement. - Credit: Archant

Among the highlights was a 1937 Ferguson Brown Type A that sold to a Scottish buyer for £15,000, £3,000 above its top guide price. The model was the first ever machine to be fitted with converging three-point linkage and a hydraulic lift incorporating automatic draft control- a system now at the heart of every modern tractor.

Meanwhile a historically important and fully restored MK1 long wheelbase Land Rover sold to a buyer from southern Ireland for £36,000, £11,000 more than the top end of its guide price.

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The vehicle, purchased new by Harry Ferguson Ltd, was the 13th long-wheelbase (107”) Land Rover to roll off the production line and was supplied to the “grey Fergie” manufacturers in Coventry in November 1953. It is thought to have inspired the four-wheeled drive developments carried out by Harry Ferguson Research Limited.

A carefully restored 1956 Standard Vanguard delivery van, with a guide price of between £10,000 and £12,000, sold for £18,500.

The vehicle was offered to Ferguson distributors and dealers at a special concessionary price of £373 from January 1949, and it became the regular sales and service vehicle, replacing the Standard Fourteen vans that had been used previously.

Meanwhile a 1948 Ferguson TE-A20 tractor, one of the earliest TE-A20 models in existence and finished in a unique red and cream livery, was bought for £4,000 by the family of the original owner from Guernsey.

A 1943 Ford “Funk” Conversion V8 tractor went to a private collector in Hertfordshire for £22,500, while a 1963 Massey Ferguson 35X Multi-Power tractor, regarded by many as the ultimate Massey Ferguson 35, sold for £10,400.

A 1953 Ferguson TEF 20 with mounted combine sold for £8,600, a 1951 Ferguson TED 20 with side mounted baler fetched £4,200 and a 1947 Ferguson TE 20 with game flusher went for £7,750.

A Ferguson Demonstration Model in original, unrestored and working condition in a wooden display box with running boards, trailed and mounted ploughs was sold for £4,100 to a buyer in Cumbria.

More than 1,000 people attended the sale, organised by Cambridgeshire auctioneers Cheffins and Suffolk’s Clarke and Simpson.

Cheffins auctioneer Oliver Godfrey said: “It was a real pleasure to be involved in the sale of such a historically important collection.

“It was an excellent auction and generated a huge amount of interest, both at home and abroad, with buyers from Norway, Sweden, Hungary and even Australia, as well as Harry Ferguson’s native Northern Ireland. The prices achieved were well above expectations and there was some frenzied bidding both at the sale itself and online.”

Harry Ferguson, born at Growell, near Dromore, County Down, was the son of a farmer noted for his role in the development of the modern tractor.

The Hunday Collection was started by collector and agricultural entrepreneur John Moffitt in 1966.

More than 1,700 people attended Mr Rackham’s previous auction of 180 vintage tractors and farm machinery, held in September.