Antique Tractor Enthusiasts Rejoice: Rare Vintage Tractors Set to be Auctioned at Cheffins!

"Rare Vintage Machinery Collection of Late Richard Vernon to be Auctioned in UK, A Must-See for Collectors and Enthusiasts"

Vintage tractor enthusiasts and collectors are in for a treat with two upcoming sales in the UK, offering rare machinery that marks key points in tractor history. The first sale is the disposal of a collection put together by the late Richard Vernon, a Leicestershire enthusiast who spent over 30 years assembling a large selection of tractors, steam engines, and implements. The collection includes a number of rare British and American vintage tractors, such as the Grey 18-36, an unusual and valuable US-built tractor dating from the 1920s, which has an estimate of £20,000-30,000.

Other highlights of the collection include a 1925 Peterbro’, 1920 British Wallis, 1926 Rumely Oil Pull 15-25, an International Titan 10-20, Parret 12-25, Huber Light 4, and a 1920 Sawyer Massey 11-22. All of the tractors on offer date from before the 1960s and were sourced from around the world. The sale will take place on June 3, 2023, both online and on-site at Lutterworth, Leicestershire.

The collection also includes four vintage tractors, with the drum-driven Grey 18-36 taking pride of place. These are offered alongside more common examples from the likes of Fordson, David Brown, Case, and International. The four steam engines on offer are estimated to have a joint value of £300,000. These include a pair of Fowler BB1 ploughing engines, ‘Princess Caroline and Princess Jayne’, dating from 1918, which have an estimate of £120,000-140,000. They are claimed to have spent their entire lives in Leicestershire. There is also the 1884 Fowler SC ploughing engine ‘Aethelflaed’, owned by Richard Vernon since 2004 which has an estimate of £70,000-80,000, and a 1915 Fowler SC Class Colonial traction engine, which is expected to fetch £60,000-70,000.

The second sale is set to take place at Newark, Nottinghamshire, on May 20, offering a number of vintage machines from the early period in Caterpillar’s history. Although widely known as a manufacturer of construction equipment nowadays, Caterpillar has its roots in agriculture, with the Holt Manufacturing Company producing crawler tractors over 120 years ago. During those early years, they had terrific competition from the Best Manufacturing Company, and the two finally merged in 1908. However, C.L Best, son of the founder, was not satisfied by this arrangement and so he started his own company, which was then again merged with Holt’s in 1925 to form the Caterpillar Tractor Company.

The lots at Newark include a Best Model 30 petrol-driven tractor manufactured in 1924. This was imported from California in the early 1980s to Wiltshire and arrived in Newark in 1988. It is not quite in full working order, but it is said to be only one of five known examples in the UK. The sale also offers early Caterpillars, which are sure to attract the attention of collectors and enthusiasts alike.

These two sales are a rare opportunity to purchase unique and valuable vintage machinery that represents important moments in tractor history. With the availability of online bidding, collectors from all over the world can participate in these sales and potentially add a piece of history to their collection.

Categories: Agriculture