Antique tractor wins £214,400 at machinery auction

A man who grew up on an Irish farm pays more than €250,000 for an old tractor

A 60-year-old businessman, who grew up on an Irish farm and is now a collector in Manchester, has paid what auctioneers believe is a UK record price for a modern classic tractor.

Tom O’Connor shelled out £214,400 for a 1982 County 1474 ‘Short Nose’ tractor at the first Cheffins Vintage Collective Sale of 2022 on Saturday 23rd Aprildr.

Based on today’s (Thursday, April 28)the2022) exchange rates, this price is equivalent to about €254,119.

The fully restored tractor saw “significant” pre-sale interest and exceeded its pre-sale estimate of £120,000-140,000.

According to the organisers, the first Cheffins Vintage Collective Sale of 2022 raised over £2m.

Buyers paid what they described as “record” prices for vintage and antique machinery and collectibles.

The sale at the Cheffins sale ground in Sutton, near Ely, saw more than 2,800 lots come under the hammer.

Buyers from all over the UK and Europe, including Ireland, attended.

Other prices in the tractor section include:

  • £73,000 for a 2004 JCB 2140, versus an estimate of £60-65,000;
  • £48,240 for a 1983 Mercedes-Benz MB-Trac 1500, well above its pre-sale estimate;
  • £42,880 for a 1974 County 1164;
  • A record price of £16,080 for a 1956 Fowler VF Crawler vs. a pre-sale estimate of £6,000-7,000. It said in its original condition, having been used on the Landwade Hall Estate, near Newmarket, since new.
record prices

Oliver Godfrey, head of Cheffins’ machinery department, says the machinery group knew this month’s sale “is going to break records” due to the variety of “strong” listed items.

However, he described the gross sale of over £2m as “insane”.

“Collectors are getting younger, so the market is really focused on tractors and machinery from the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s as they look to buy a piece of their youth.”

“It is impossible to put a price on the value of nostalgia. Many buyers are also looking for tractors that they think will become the next collector’s item and an investment that pays off.”

“It seems that, at the moment, the market bets are mostly on Ford variants such as County and Roadless, which are seeing double-digit price growth year over year.”

Overall, he said the market is “alive and well; in fact, it is thriving.” He explained that collectors still have cash in the bank, which they want to invest in something “tangible that they can see and use and enjoy.”

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