Classic tractors took centre stage at the latest Cheffins vintage sale, that saw more than 2,000 lots up for sale for the first time since lockdown restriction were eased. Alex Heath reports.
The first Cheffins vintage collective sale of 2021 saw more than 2,000 lots of vintage and classic tractors, machinery, steam engines, motorcycles, cars and collectors’ items go under the hammer at the firm’s sale ground in Sutton, near Ely.
Bouyed by bidding on the ground for the first time in months, via the internet and certain lots sold via timed auctions, the sale grossed more than £1.3 million as the event drew collectors and enthusiasts from across the UK along with overseas purchasers bidding online, the auction house reports.
Bill King, Chairman, Cheffins says: “This was an absolute belter of a sale, with a crowd of eager, lockdown-freed buyers bidding both online and at the sale ground. We saw buyers old and new from across the UK all flocking to the sale ground for a slice of normality on a sunny day, and with cash in the bank following lockdown, there was lively bidding across all sections of the auction.
“We can see from the results that the later classic tractors continue to be in vogue, with some heady prices paid for the best and most well-kept examples from the 1970s and 1980s. However, we did also have some particularly fantastic earlier tractors on offer, with an immaculate Fordson E27N ensuring that not all attention was on the modern classics.
“It was heartening to see some level of normality back at the sale ground, with bidders back in force and keen for a day out. We were pleased that everyone adhered to the social distancing measures which were put in place and we were able to deliver a fantastic auction whilst still ensuring all of our buyers and staff were kept safe. We hope to continue to be able to offer live bidding at the Cheffins sales, as long as government guidelines allow, and are looking forward to welcoming people back for the July sale.”
The tractor section saw an 80 per cent sale rate of the 250 entires, with later classic examples achieving some of the highest prices on the day.
Please note: Prices quoted through out are the hammer price, and do not include VAT or buyers premium at six per cent.
The top price at the fall of the hammer was £38,000 for a 1979 County 1174 in yellow livery. Originally from Stansted Airport, it had just 705 hours on the clock, and was sold to a buyer from the West Country.
Next best was a 1989 Ford 7810 Silver Jubilee which sold for £29,000. Fitted with a Super Q cab, this had registered 9,348 hours.
Described as being restored to concours condition, a 1974 Massey Ferguson 1200 made £24,000. Sat on good Firestone tires and fitted with a rear linkage, it was showing 6,562 hours on the clock.
In addition, a previously restored 1968 Roadless 115 was knocked down at £18,500.
At £17,500 was a Massey Ferguson 375 for 1990. Fitted with a Hi-Line cab, it was showing 1,570 genuine hours.
Next at £16,800 was a 1969 John Deere 4020. This came with front and wheel weights and rear linkage and had 8,898 hours on the clock.
A brace of machines found a hammer price of £16,500. The first was in the form of a Ford 8830 Power Shift. Fitted with a front linkage and Super Q cab, it was showing 9,772 hours. Next up at the same price was 1988 Ford 7810. In tidy condition it was displaying 8,488 hours.
Two tractors were knocked down at £16,000. First of the bunch was a 1978 Muir-Hill 121 showing 3,700 hours. It came fitted with Dual Power, rear wheel and front underslung weights.
At the same money was a rare Selene four-wheel drive conversion of a 1952 Fordson E27N Major. This one was fitted with a Perkins L4 diesel engine as part of the Italian company Selene’s conversion, with a military surplus GMC axle fitted to the front, while a Lainchbury winch was on the rear. Just sixteen conversions of this type were made, it is understood, which were sold into Italy or exported to Brazil. The vendor had refurbished the tractor over the past five years.
Achieving £15,000 was an exceptionally clean example of a Ford 4630, showing just £1,478 hours. It was fitted with a Deluxe cab and a shuttle transmission.
A International 1455XL reached £14,500.
A pair then made £14,000. The first was a 1972 Ford 7000.
The second at the same money was a Huber 12-25 Light Four. Thought to be built some time in the 1920s, the production ran from 1916 to 1928 in Ohio. The four-cylinder petrol/TVO Waukesha engine was mounted crossways on the frame, with large front wheels, a feature of Huber tractors of that time.