An amazing Ferguson collection, consisting of over 700 lots amassed by Brent Thomas, is set to come under Howard Pugh’s hammer on May 2nd, reports Peter Love.
I visited Brent Thomas’ amazing Ferguson collection in January to see it for myself, and was certainly impressed by Brent’s detailed knowledge. He told me that his inspiration for the collection was John Farnworth’s book Ferguson Implements and Accessories, and he’s been supported by his wife, Jo, who is very much part of all that goes on behind the scenes.
Brent has been collecting for over 25 year, but has never been interested in rallying the exhibits as he always has so much going on. However, he wants to develop the farm and land in various ways, and thinks that now is the time to change direction.
Fergusons were very much part of the farm in his dad’s time, even though the first tractor he drove was a Ford Force 2000, supplied by Ravenhill, in 1972. In fact, classic Fords are still to be seen on the farm today, including a 7810 SII four-wheel-drive, which has been working there from new and looks lovely.
But, with regard to the collection, where do we start? There are just so many highlights. What is clear is that the auction will give Ferguson and Massey Ferguson various opportunities to purchase hard-to-find implements, linkage items and so on; including four, like-new Ferguson tacho meters and lighting sets. I also spotted a boxed, totally original and working Ferguson clockwork company model, with track and plough. Even a rare Massey-Harris-Ferguson era, UK-style multi-hitch was seen.
I also came across what I believe were a number of Ferguson jack and handle assemblies, which you certainly don’t find lying about. The Ferguson hammer mill H-LE-21 is another genuine implement – like all of them here, as Brent has only collected the best. A raft of genuine Ferguson hand brake conversion kits was yet another rare find.
The collection includes various types of Ferguson trailer – all rare and very complete – together with the small but elite tractor collection. The oldest is the 1938 Ferguson Brown A (No. 909) petrol paraffin, which came from Robert Lunn in 2005, and is a lovely, restored example on some excellent pneumatic tyres.
However, the tractor I got most excited about was the 1947 Ferguson TE-20 (No. 69) in original condition – what a gem! You rarely find them this good – it won a major first at Tractor World, for the most original tractor. It originally came from the West County, and has obviously been carefully used during its life.
There was also the Lambourn-cabbed Ferguson diesel TE-F, with Bombardier tracks and Bomford Sapper blade on the front. Again, it this looks like a real gem, and includes an original handbrake conversion.
Then I came upon the star; the EV Twose, Devon Ferguson Tractormount road roller. This is a very rare example, as it features the rear water tank. Brent knows of just one other like it, which is in Wanaka in the South Island of New Zealand.
When was there an example of one of these rollers offered in recent times? It’s in fully working order, with TE-F No. 403398 OAB526 as the driving force in the centre. The roller itself worked at Forley, Southampton, then went on to a turf grower, who used it in the business; it then came here as a wreck and was rebuilt.
Interestingly, the Twose patent was sold to India, and various railway departments had them in their fleet, with TAFE MF tractors as the main power. In fact, the RRA ‘guru’, Derek Rayner, came across a couple near the narrow gauge Darjima Hymalah Railway relatively recently.
Others to been seen on site included a very clean and original Ferguson TE-F diesel with banana loader; another gem. Outside, there was a Ferguson FE 35 industrial No. SDF80089 VEH262938, which worked for London County Council when it was new, and features the much-sought-after industrial bumper.
Bringing us slightly up-to-date, is the former Shropshire Massey Ferguson 135 – again an original beast with period roll bar and all the correct bits, which still goes very well.
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