Red and grey classics on the National Vintage Tractor Road Run

Posted by Chris Graham on 10th May 2024

Chris Graham reports on the Ferguson and Massey Ferguson classics seen on this year’s brilliant National Vintage Tractor Road Run.

Vintage Tractor Road Run

A view of part of the sea of assorted tractors packed onto the hard-standing at Plumpton College, before the start of this year’s National Vintage Tractor Road Run.

This was the 35th running of the National Vintage Tractor Road Run (NVTRR), which returned to Sussex for only the second time, following the event held in the west of the county back in 1998. As was the case 26 years ago, this year’s run was enthusiastically hosted by the South East Vintage Agricultural Club (SEVAC) and, despite disappointingly wet weather during the lead-up to the big day, the ground remained dry enough for most of the planned off-road sections to remain passable along the 25-mile route.

Vintage Tractor Road Run

Just time for a few last-minute checks before the off!

Traditionally held on Easter Sunday, the NVTRR always attracts tractors from far and wide, although overall entries this time were slightly down on recent years. Nevertheless, 256 assorted machines were in place at Plumpton College, near Lewes, for the 10am start on March 31st, despite the chilly, misty weather and the switch to British Summer Time losing everyone an hour’s sleep. As expected, the entry included a decent number of Ferguson and Massey Ferguson tractors.

Vintage Tractor Road Run

Tim Smith’s 1958 MF 35 diesel pulls a trailer-full of enthusiastic passengers up onto the South Downs, from Falmer

The route was mostly off-road during the first stage to Falmer, then the tractors climbed up onto the South Downs using the busy B2123 and, at Woodingdean, headed off-road again to follow a section of the South Downs Way towards the lunch stop at Northease Farm. Then, with refreshments taken, the group began descending off the Downs and headed through the busy centre of Lewes town to wow the crowds. A predominantly country lane-route then took the tractors on through Upper Wellingham, Barcombe and Cooksbridge villages, before the final stretch back to the finish at Plumpton College.

Vintage Tractor Road Run

This smart MF 6190 was one of the biggest and newest Massey Fergusons on the run. Unfortunately, it wasn’t listed in the event programme, so we can’t be sure about the owner/driver.

According to NVTRR chairman Will Cranfield, only four machines had to be picked up by the event’s support crews due to mechanical problems, and a substantial amount of money was raised for this year’s nominated charity, Patchwork Farm at the Chailey Heritage Foundation.

Vintage Tractor Road Run

David King, proudly flying his Welsh dragons, travelled from Mid-Glamorgan to take part in the NVTRR with his very clean, 1957 Ferguson FE 35X.

This was a well-organised and very enjoyable event underpinned by a great spirit of friendly enthusiasm from officials, entrants and spectators alike. As things stand, though, nobody’s stepped forward to organise the 2025 event, which is a bit of a worry. So if there are any organisations that fancy hosting next year’s NVTRR in their region, then please call Will Cranfield on: 07517 224987.

Vintage Tractor Road Run

Sadly we didn’t spot too many women drivers on the run, but here’s Abi Rusden from Surrey, at the controls of her 1963 MF 35X.


Although wearing the wrong event number, we think this is Pat Luke’s 1994 MF 3085.


M Fletcher brought his 1972 MF 135 from Surrey to take part in this year’s NVTRR, and looked to be having a great time!


Proudly flying the flag for Sussex, Rob Cranfield and passengers enjoy the run up from Falmer with his 1978 MF 40 Industrial.


Helen Digby, from East Sussex, and her 1951 grey Fergie, with a Fordson Major in hot pursuit.


One of the smallest on the run was this very original MF 152 Mk.III vineyard tractor. Unfortunately, it wasn’t numbered or listed in the programme, so must have been a last-minute entry.


This is Mark Gracie from Somerset, and his 1965 MF 130, representing the Sedgemore Vintage Club. He’s being followed by Timothy Hurley, from Bristol, and his 1975 MF 168 4WD Multi-Power.


Alan Harwood proudly takes the salute as he nears the finish aboard his 1968 MF 165.

This feature comes from a recent issue of Classic Massey & Ferguson Enthusiast, and you can get a money-saving subscription to this magazine simply by clicking HERE


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