A fantastic tractor sale!

Posted by Chris Graham on 15th September 2021

The Cheffins-run auction of the Liddell family’s machinery collection must go down the best of the year. It was a fantastic tractor sale!

A fantastic tractor sale

A fantastic tractor sale: This 1974 Ransomes Crusader 2800B with 10ft cut (which came with spares) was a joy to see, and sold for an impressive £9,500!

After an initial welcome to all present, Cheffins’ Oliver Godfrey headed straight into the tractor spares and miscellaneous items that were arranged under a leaden sky. As the sale progressed, the crowd continued to grow, until the car park was over-flowing. The early highlights to fall under the hammer in this section included several Roadless front weight blocks – the best making £1,150 – and a Fordson Major Weathershield cab, which looked in reasonable condition (some rust showing) and sold for £3,700.

A fantastic tractor sale

This WJ Cooper, six-cylinder County working conversion is a lovely, original machine, and sold for £4,200.

There followed a clean, Ford 7000 AP safety cab, which raised £3,500; the cab fitted on the 7000 in the sale was a 5000-6600 type. Also of note was the £820 paid for some Ford Super Q lights. They didn’t look very special to me but were certainly in great demand.

A fantastic tractor sale

Used in so many industrial sites over the years, including Dover Docks, this Muir-Hill E1A Shunter changed hands for £4,200.

The sale continued with ploughs and other implements, conducted by Bill King before Oliver Godfrey returned at noon to start on the main tractors. After a staggering £9,500 was paid for an admittedly stunning, 1975 Ransomes Crusader 2800B combine, we returned to reality with a 1965 Claeys M103 New Holland 10ft combine, which sold for just £750!

A fantastic tractor sale

While not to everyone’s taste, this Super Dexta Hi-Clear had been used on a Brussels sprout farm in Bedfordshire and could have been yours for £1,800.

Just a few lots on, the 1983 County 1474 short-nose (No. 48724) came up. This tractor was purchased in 1993 and mainly used with a five-furrow Dowdeswell plough. It had been fitted with rare, 38in wheels – the extra 2in does so much for the performance of these tractors. On the flip side, the increased diameter does place all sorts of additional stress on other components.

A fantastic tractor sale

This ex-Paul Rackham Ford 2N Perkins P3 conversion (not a Funck conversion, as the catalogue stated) sold for £3,800.

But all that’s in the past and, with only 4,802 hours on the clock of this fine and clean Ernest Doe-supplied example. I felt it was very capable of making £100,000. Oliver started the bidding at £70,000 and, for a while, it was stuck at £74,000 but, once it reached £110,000, that seemed to galvanise bidders for the big push which took the price on up to an amazing £196,000. Factor in all the additional charges, and the total paid was £249,312!

A fantastic tractor sale

This ex-Toddington Manor County Z sold for £3,200 on the day.

The sale continued with a 1989 Ford Jubilee with 12,161 hours and an excellent front linkage. Despite a set of wheels in real need of a repaint, this machine went on to sell for £42,000. Next, there was the most interesting but tatty, ex-Frank S Foot 1966 Northrop 5004/6 prototype, which sold for £74,500.

A fantastic tractor sale

This 1962 Weatherill 12H ex-military loading shovel is a wonderful machine with very low hours, yet it sold for just £800 – the bargain of the sale, perhaps.

However, the tractor I loved more than any other at this sale was the 1971 Roadless Ploughmaster 95 (No. 6D-6307). It had been supplied by AT Oliver & Son in Luton and was being sold with its warranty card and instruction book. It looked good but we didn’t hear it run so the buyer, who paid £22,000 (+VAT) for it, took a bit of a gamble, mechanically speaking.

A fantastic tractor sale

Found in Frank S Foot’s famous scrapyard at Micheldever, Hampshire, this Doe-130 was originally supplied to Richardsons Engineering, in Driffield. The rear engine ran, but not the front, and it was knocked down at £45,000.

Another bumper price was paid for a Ploughmaster 6/4. I’ve certainly seen better examples selling for appreciably less than the £27,000 this one made; the model is still very much in demand.

A fantastic tractor sale

This ‘hybrid’ JJ Thomas Ninety-Five 120 started at Sawbridgeworth, Herts, as a Ford 7600. The tractor was uprated by JJ Thomas, and the front axle was added in 1991 by the Liddells. It sold for £18,000 + VAT.

I enjoyed the line of fine, original and clean crawlers, the most desirable of which appeared to be the County P55 Ploughman. It had been supplied by AG Potter (Framlingham) Ltd, and eventually sold for £10,800. I also spotted a fine Weatherhill 12H loading shovel. Despite being a superb, ex-military example with very low hours, it sold for just £800! Sadly, people don’t place more value on British plant like this.

A fantastic tractor sale

This 1991 Ford 8210 Series III looked good and was sold complete with V5c. It went for £21,000 + VAT.


A fantastic tractor sale

Carrying a replacement engine, this rather rough-looking Roadless Ploughmaster 6/4 (No. 660B03947) eventually sold for a record price of £27,000.


This 1991 Ford 8830 Power Shift, complete with huge rear ‘boots’, was off to The Netherlands, after selling for £27,000.


Despite missing one of the doors on its Hyra cab, this County 1454 sold for £19,000.


This cool-looking County CFT E27N, with Perkins P6 engine, was supplied new by Peterborough Motors and sold for £15,000.


After generating 1,000s of hits on YouTube, this Howard Roteho trencher was sold for a decent £4,400.


Mix and match! With the rear half of an E27N, the front half of a Standard N and a Bettinson front end, this tractor sold for £3,400.


Wow! The Dingles work’s hack down at Stoke Climsland, in Cornwall, was this 1965 County Super-6, complete with a massive winch on the back and JCB cab. It sold for a good £10,000.


Forward control County FCs aren’t everyone’s cup of tea but certainly represent a unique driving experience. This 1004 sold well for £13,000.


The ultimate 1983 County 1474 (No. 48724), which went on to make double what I predicted, fetching a whopping £249,312. It had low hours, rare, 38in wheel set-up and had left the site before the end of the sale.


The ‘old slug’ herself! This 1966 Northrop 5004/6 is another machine that was found in Frank Foot’s scrap/export yard. This tractor has so much history attached to it and changed hands here for £74,500.


This tired Roadless 120 (No. B980169) sold for £25,000 + VAT.


This original-looking Fordson New Performance sold for £3,100, the Super Dexta next to it went for £3,000 and the Power Major beyond, fetched £3,400.

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