A "STUNNING" Herefordshire tractor that is one of the first of its kind will be going under the hammer this month.

Over 2,700 lots, including several one-of-a-kind tractors, steam engines, vehicles, motorcycles and automobilia, will be going under the hammer in the first vintage auction of the year held by machinery auctioneers Cheffins.

Some 300 tractors are included, including one of the earliest Ferguson Brown tractors, which was almost certainly a pre-production demonstrator and includes the first manufactured Coventry Climax engine. The tractor, which carries the serial number five, was originally supplied on steel wheels to Imperial Motors of Hereford and was brought into preservation in the 1970s.

Tom Godsmark, associate at Cheffins, said: “No five possesses the correct features for such an early machine, including the paired-plug head and shallow sump.

"It is a stunning example, and its early serial number signifies its huge historical importance. It is entirely possible that the only earlier example of a Ferguson Brown still in existence is number one, which is owned by Massey Ferguson."


Top of the bill is a 1928 Foden C Type, which was treated to an extensive nut and bolt restoration by its previous owner, creating what is believed to be one of the finest examples of a C Type in existence. The restoration began in 1988 when in the ownership of Vincent Allen of Houghton Le Spring in Co Durham, before Bruce Nicol purchased it in 2007. Pre-sale estimates are between £200,000-£220,000.

Mr Godsmark says buyers will be excited by the variety and quality of machinery on offer. “This is a mammoth sale, with some hugely important historical tractors alongside some models that have been subject to extensive restorations. Some of these machines haven’t changed hands for several decades and being able to offer them to the market again is a privilege.”

One of the oldest tractors in the sale is a 1915/16 Overtime Model R, two-cylinder petrol tractor, believed to be one of the earliest working models in the UK. This mid-war example was rescued from the undergrowth in 1959 and was a mainstay on the rally and show circuit until 2018. Various invoices from the restoration are still present and its current vendors bought it in 2021 and have treated it to a full repaint to match the original chassis.

The line-up extends to an immaculate 1973 County 1164, six-cylinder tractor and a 1932 Fordson Model N, which is one of only a handful of ‘transitional’ models produced when manufacturing moved from Cork in Ireland to Ford’s Dagenham site in Essex. This model was assembled in England, but used many Irish parts, as can be seen from the ‘Made in Irish Free State’ legend on the fuel tank and found on the flywheel during the restoration. This model spent over 60 years on one farm in Northamptonshire before undergoing a five-year restoration with its current owner.

The pick of the vehicles is a 6.2-litre V8 Bentley T-Type Mulliner Park Ward 2-door coupe, which is an immaculate early example and one of only 79 right-hand drive models built between 1966 and 1971. Coachbuilt by H.J Mulliner Park Ward Ltd of Willesden, it features rare early type internal door handles, and the Burr Walnut woodwork is in superb condition. It still has its original box of tools and a jack, while the hardback owner’s handbook is also present. It carries an estimate of £50,000-£60,000. Vintage Land Rover enthusiasts have 11 vehicles to choose from, including an early racing green Series I, through to Series III models.

There are 55 motorcycles comprising a 1929 Velocette KSS, 1928 James Model 12 V-twin, and a 1929 Douglas EW, many of which are to be offered without reserve. As usual, there is a wide selection of automobilia and petroliana, including Price’s Motorine U.C.L – a countertop upper lubricant dispenser in unrestored and original condition.

More information and the full catalogue can be found on the Cheffins website with the sale starting online at 9.30am on Friday, April 19 and at Cheffins’ Sutton sale ground near Ely on Saturday, April 20 at 9am.