Largest collection of vintage Ferguson tractors and implements to go under the hammer

A historically important collection of tractors designed by renowned Irish engineer Harry Ferguson is expected to generate plenty of interest when it goes under the hammer next month.

Paul Rackham, of Camp Farm, near Thetford, in Norfolk, England, is selling what’s considered to be the most complete set of vintage Ferguson tractors and implements in the world.

The Hunday Collection, which includes 73 tractors and 100 implements - along with other rare memorabilia and literature - is expected to fetch more than £400,000.

It also features a historically important and fully restored Series1 long wheel base Land Rover that was purchased new by Harry Ferguson Ltd and has a guide price of between £20,000 and £25,000.

The vehicle was the 13th long-wheelbase (107”) Land Rover to roll off the production line and was supplied new to the ‘grey Fergie’ manufacturers in Coventry in November 1953. It is thought to have inspired the four-wheeled drive developments carried out by Harry Ferguson Research Limited.

The sale, organised by Cambridgeshire auctioneers Cheffins and Suffolk’s Clarke and Simpson, is expected to attract a number of Ferguson enthusiasts from throughout the UK, Ireland, Europe, USA and beyond.

Ferguson, born at Growell, near Dromore, County Down, was the son of a farmer and noted for his role in the development of the modern tractor. He is also famous for becoming the first Irishman to build and fly his own aeroplane and for developing the first four-wheel drive Formula One car.

Oliver Godfrey, auctioneer at Cheffins, said: “A sale of such historical importance will create a huge amount of interest, particularly from Northern Ireland, which was Harry Ferguson’s birthplace, but also from the ever increasing number of Ferguson and Massey Ferguson enthusiasts around the world.

“The collection includes tractors from Harry Ferguson’s early collaborations with David Brown and Henry Ford, through to his own T20 models and later Massey Ferguson tractors.

“There are also several rare implements, including a replica tractor-mounted combine, a side-mounted baler and the ‘holy grail’ of Ferguson implements, an extremely rare game flusher which could fetch £10,000.”

The Hunday Collection was started by collector and agricultural entrepreneur John Moffitt in 1966. He opened a museum displaying a range of vintage tractors, engines and machinery in Northumberland in 1979.

Following the closure of the museum in 1989 and after retiring from farming in the early 1990s, Mr Moffitt continued to build his collection of Fergusons.

By 2000, he had amassed what’s thought to have been the most complete collection of Ferguson equipment ever assembled. By this time the collection included an example of every type of implement and virtually every variation of tractor – both Ferguson and its early Massey Ferguson successors.

Where no example of a machine existed, such as the Ferguson combine (which never went beyond prototype stage), Mr Moffitt had replicas made at great expense.

In 2004, with his health failing, he decided to sell the collection to Mr Rackham, who has overhauled and renovated several of the tractors.

The 79-year-old has also added a number of rare and significant examples of Ferguson and Massey Ferguson machinery, as well as vehicles of particular historical interest. These include Harry Ferguson Ltd’s fully restored MK1 long wheel base Land Rover with original buff log book.

Mr Rackham has been the curator of the Hunday Ferguson Collection for more than 12 years but has decided to sell the collection so that he can focus on a new challenge.

The auction will take place at Camp Farm, Roudham, near Thetford, Norfolk, on Saturday 14th November.