Dream team bring old tractors back to life

BBC Northern Ireland’s brand new motoring series, Tricked-Out Tractors, has brought together a dream team of petrol heads who have been restoring beloved vintage tractor models, building custom one-of-a-kind monster machines and crafting bespoke rebuilds.

The three-part series, filmed mainly before current Covid-19 restrictions, begins on BBC One Northern Ireland on Monday 26 October at 7.35pm. It is a Green Inc production for BBC Northern Ireland.

Together master mechanic Tylor Cartin from Claudy, County Londonderry; restoration guru Stephen Lennon from Loughbrickland, County Down, and machinery expert Darren Bailey from Portlaoise have been tackling mechanical mess ups and major makeovers.

The trio have worked on complicated tractor builds, ground up restorations, and cutting edge designs in this new one of a kind resto-mod series. All done while taking on the pressures of hard to get parts and difficult deadlines.

Viewers will see the team go wild with paint schemes, get hands on with engine upgrades, have fun out and about go karting, and getting inspiration from a custom car show.

From an almost 100-year-old Fordson, to a champion winning pulling tractor and a classic red Porsche, the TOT workshop has been graced with some of the most sought after tractors around.

Tylor Cartin said: “In this series I’m the chief mechanic/technician. I do the engine work, anything mechanical on the tractor that needs replaced. You have to have a strong backbone, but I just have had so much craic working with the guys.

Stephen Lennon said: “This series is something new and completely different. It has big entertainment value and you might just learn something about tractors and the history of tractors too!”

Darren Bailey said: “It’s amazing how we have taken tractors destined for the scrapheap and transformed them into basically shiny new shoes again.”

In the first programme, Monster Horsepower, Irish tractor pulling champ, Darren Bailey brings in his monster powerhouse machine, The Challenger, so the team can help him get it into shape for the new season. With three All-Ireland Championships under his belt, this time he needs to make sure his tractor is bigger and better to hold onto his title. Harkie Watt, the godfather of the Irish tractor pulling scene lends a helping hand. With a surprise race at the end, is the tractor up for the challenge?

Programme two, Return of the Fordson, sees Markethill farmer Aaron Taylor bring in a rust ridden almost 100-year-old Fordson Model F. This immediately puts the team to the test as they set about restoring it back to its former glory. And when owner Aaron from County Armagh shows them an interesting signature on the side of the tractor the gang call in an expert to find out if the tractor could be worth a lot of money.

The final programme, Cruisin’ In My ‘674, a family heirloom tractor is now in the hands of 17-year-old Jason McVerry from Belleeks, County Armagh, who wants to have it tricked out. For this International 674, new metalwork, windows, and doors are just the beginning of the transformation. Tylor thinks up some modern touches for this classic tractor, with some encouragement from tractor pulling expert, Darren. Can the team convince restoration guru Stephen it’s all a good idea?

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