With more than 90 classic tractors for sale, The Shrubbs Farm Collection which was recently dispersed by auction house Cheffins, had several record breaking prices.
Amassed by Ian Liddell and his son Martin, from the 1980s onwards, the collection was said to be one of the most comprehensive assortments of classic tractors to have ever come to the market. The collection was continually added to over many years, creating an historical timeline of the development of agricultural machinery from the 1960s onwards.
Oliver Godfrey, director at Cheffins says: “With over 90 classic and vintage tractors going under the hammer and a host of excellent spares and implements meant the onsite auction team were in for a very busy day. What unfolded was nothing short of spectacular!
“The Liddell family had been collecting for over 35 years and had quietly put together one of the most genuine and original collections of Ford and Ford conversion tractors including Doe, County and Roadless in the country. With collectors and enthusiasts emerging from the darkness of various lockdowns and armed with fresh enthusiasm and cash, they were eager to feed their passion for all things classic and vintage. Bidders came from all four corners of the UK as well as the continent and even interest from the USA.”
Topping the sale at a hammer price of £196,000 was a 1983 County 1474 ‘short nose’. Bought by a UK-based collector, this 153hp example, of which less than 40 were thought to have been built, had seen two owners from new, showed 4,802 hours on the clock and had a pre-sale estimate of £60,000 to £70,000.
Purchased by the Liddell family second hand in 1993 it was responsible for the farm’s ploughing with a five furrow Dowdeswell in the 90s. When another tractor joined the fleet, it entered early retirement and subsequently only completed around 100 hours in the past 25 years.
The result makes this the second highest price paid for a vintage or classic tractor at auction to date, following the £310,000 paid for a 1903 Ivel Agricultural Motor, sold by the firm in 2019.
This was followed by a £74,500 call for a rare 1966 Northrop 5004/6 (above), well over its £40,000 - £50,000 estimate. One of only two built, it was saved from being exported in the early ‘90s and had registered 3,078 hours.
Knocked down at £46,000 was a 1965 Doe-130. The tractors were initially unveiled at the Smithfield show in December 1964, priced at £2,850. In 1965 seventy-three Doe-130s were sold with the majority sold the firm’s home county of Essex. Between 1965-1968 production totalled 170 units. Like the Northrop before, the Doe-130 was found ready for export in the same yard, in the early ‘90s.
And at a hammer price of £42,000 was a 1989 Ford 7810 Silver Jubilee showing 12,161 hours. Launched in October 1989 to commemorate 25 years of tractor production at Basildon, the 7810 was the ideal candidate for a special edition accounting for 25 per cent of production. Based on the Series 3 version, the ’Silver Jubilee’ tractor had the luxury Super-Q cab with an electronic instrument panel, four-wheel drive using the Italian Carraro axle and the Synchroshift gearbox with Dual Power.