Celebrating 60 years of the 'Red Giant' 100 series Massey Ferguson tractor

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Sixty years of the ‘Red Giant’ 100 series Massey Ferguson tractor were celebrated at this year’s Balmoral Show.

Sam Neill from Portadown was one of 15 members of the ‘Massey Ferguson Worldwide’ Facebook group that was running a display of a variety of models, alongside ‘The Ferguson Club’.

Mr Neill has a personal connection to the 1964 ‘Red Giant’ tractor, recalling memories from his childhood.

“I was reared on them. I was always stuck on a tractor with my dad to get out of my mum’s road.” Sam laughed.

Sam Neill, Massey Ferguson Worldwide. (Pic: Nathan Hylands)Sam Neill, Massey Ferguson Worldwide. (Pic: Nathan Hylands)
Sam Neill, Massey Ferguson Worldwide. (Pic: Nathan Hylands)

“I remember he couldn’t get any help to draw in hay whenever I was six years old.

“He put me on the tractor and told me to drive from bales to bales.

“Dad threw them up and my mother built them.

“That was me hooked on the tractor.”

The display at Balmoral. (Pic: Nathan Hylands)The display at Balmoral. (Pic: Nathan Hylands)
The display at Balmoral. (Pic: Nathan Hylands)

The old time Massey Ferguson tractors was a popular attraction at the show with the public also “reminiscing about memories with an old uncle or grandfather on these tractors.”

Sam added: “In Northern Ireland everybody has a farming relation. People have been telling their own children about their memories. They take photos of the children in front of the tractors, so the display is well appreciated.”

Speaking about the online group, the enthusiast said other Massey Ferguson owners post updates about their models.

“It is interesting to see what other countries do with their tractors,” he continued.

“In the southern hemisphere they are planting with them but in the northern hemisphere they are combining and harvesting. It’s interesting to see how people ‘abuse’ them, yet other people are restoring them.

Sam is well versed on the history of ‘The Ferguson Club’ which was “one of the first regarding collecting Massey Fergusons”.

“Harry Ferguson, the developer of the agricultural tractor’s, grandson Jamie Sheldon is the club’s president.”

“Massey Ferguson UK sold the 35 and 65 up until 1964/65. The company decided to do the DX project, the world tractors. They used the French built 130, the smallest of the range with 35 horsepower.

“The 135 replaced the 35 at 45 horsepower, the 165 replaced the 65 at 58 horsepower and they brought out a big new tractor the 175 at 67 horsepower.

“At that time those tractors did just about everything. They did all the ploughing in the springtime. They used the disc two or three times over every acre that was ploughed.

“The tractor pulled seed drills, mowed, and baled hay, cut silage and sometimes in the early days they pulled trail combines. Some people are still using this tractor; they are still in big demand for export to third world countries to start a new life and do the same work that they always did.

“A lot of them have made their way into preservation and are only used as hobby tractors for road runs and vintage events.

“Some people still like to use them; they are still very useable,” Sam concluded.

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.