http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-norfolk-34771946 (37 sec video)
Paul Rackham from Roudham, Norfolk is a farmer & businessman and is selling what the auctioneers have billed as “the biggest collection of Ferguson tractors in the world”.
In 2004 Paul bought the Hunday Ferguson Collection of Ferguson + Massey Ferguson tractors from John Moffitt. Paul moved the collection to Bridgham, and has done some renovation work on some tractors & also extended the collection. Over the last 5 years he has tried to sell them as a whole but without success, so is breaking up the collection.
200 miscellaneous-brand vintage tractors were sold at auction for £1.5m GBP ($2.27m USD) on 29 September 2015, and the Hunday Ferguson Collection will be sold by Cheffins Auctioneers on 14 November 2015.
John Moffitt was very well known figure in the world of farm machinery preservation, largely due to the Hunday Museum – a national collection of tractors, engines and machinery – that he opened in Northumberland in 1979.
John was a farmer & businessman and began collecting tractors in 1965. The museum closed in 1989 and the majority of the tractors and exhibits were dispersed. However, John retained all the Ferguson exhibits.
John retiring from farming and his business interests in the early 1990s; he devoted himself instead to building up the largest collection of Ferguson equipment in the world. John’s ambition was to find an example of virtually every piece of Ferguson equipment produced in the UK and the USA. 10 years later he was pretty much there.
John was a fanatical ‘completist’. Where no example of a machine existed, such as the Ferguson combine (which never went beyond prototype stage), John had replicas constructed at great expense.
The Ferguson innovations in integrating tractor & plough were developed by Harry Ferguson, who was born in Northern Ireland, and formed a manufacturing company named after it’s owner in 1938. The company these days is known as Massey Ferguson and has manufacturing plants in France, Italy, USA & Brazil. In my days of selling advertising for a farming journal, I was told that “Massey Ferguson” exclusively meant a tractor equipped with crawler tracks like a tank (essential for the exceptionally heavy soils in South Lincolnshire & elsewhere). In fact, that is not entirely correct.
The Ford company ended a “handshake deal” with Ferguson in 1947, effectively stealing his patents, and leaving him without a tractor to sell in North America. Ferguson sued Ford & eventually settled out of court in 1952. A year later the company was merged with Massey Harris & that later became the modern Massey Ferguson.
--------- Alex Kemp