It’s a County record-breaker!

Posted by Chris Graham on 4th September 2021

The recent Cheffins-managed Liddle family sale saw some amazing machinery sold, including a spectacular Country record-breaker!

County record-breaker

It’s a County record-breaker: The ultimate 1983 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.

Some 18 record prices were realised at the Liddell family sale which took place on July 3rd, when the County 1474 short nose stormed to a selling price of £249,312 – an amazing £176,312 more than the previous record for that model!

County record-breaker

This 1963 Ford Thames Trader 689DPW six-cylinder diesel was a runner by rough, and sold for £600.

As it turned out, the ‘sale of the year’ (so far) began at 9am when Cheffins’ Oliver Godfrey started things off at the immaculate Liddell family’s Shrubbs Farm at Sheering, in Essex.

County record-breaker

The 1951 Bristol 10 No. 2981, with belt pulley, was very clean but not running. It fetched £1,700.

The drizzle had stopped for a short while when the 1983 County 1474 short nose No. 48724 came under the hammer. The tractor was purchased in 1993 and, at one time, the family owned two 1474s. This one was used with a five-furrow Dowdeswell plough and, when the 1991 Ford 8830 Power-Shift (sold at the sale to a buyer from The Netherlands, for £27,000) joined the fun with its huge tyres, it took on the cultivating duties and the 1474 essentially went into retirement.

County record-breaker

The 1966 Northrop 5004/6 prototype, with replacement engine, was in quite a state but, nevertheless, sold for £74,500.

The County had been fitted with the rare 38in wheels – that extra 2in does so much for the machine’s performance, although it could also be problematic, exerting extra stress and strain on various components. But that’s in the past now and, with only 4,802 hours on the clock of this fine, Ernest Doe-supplied example, it was estimated that it would be very hitting the £100,000 mark at the sale.

County record-breaker

Only one of the engines ran on this 1965 Doe-130 No. D562 (with Lambourn cab) It sold for £45,000.

Oliver started the bidding at £70,000 and, for a while it stuck at £74,000. But then it was moving again and, once the bidding hit £110,000, that seemed to galvanise things, and it was off. The auctioneer gave each bidder plenty of time to consider their position and, before long, the price had reached an amazing £196,000, and that was it! With VAT and other add-on costs, that resulted in the total selling price of £249,312.

County record-breaker

This 1945-registered Fordson E27N carries Roadless DG4 halftracks, a later Perkins P6 engine and French & Hecht front wheels. It’s an interesting tractor that sold for £11,800.

It was certainly a hard act to follow, but there was more to be sold. Next in line was the 1989 Ford Jubilee, with 12,161 hours recorded and an excellent front linkage. The wheels needed repainting but, nevertheless, the hammer fell at £42,000. This is the highest UK price for one of these tractors in this condition, but not a world record.

County record-breaker

This 1965 County Super 6 No. S514732, with 10-ton winch, was used by Dingles of Stoke Climsland, Cornwall, as a yard hack. It’s fitted with a modified, JCB cab and sold for £10,000.

Then came a very interesting, ex-Frank S Foot, 1966 Northrop 5004/6 prototype that was looking very sorry for itself and was obviously in need of a mechanical rebuild. Despite that, it sold With the price of the 1474 earlier we thought it might make £100,000, but we have to be realistic about these things, yet it still made £74,500 and, with no VAT to pay, its new owner was very pleased with his purchase.

County record-breaker

Purchased from a previous Cheffins sale, this restored, 1955 Muir-Hill Fordson Diesel Major shunter No.MB1209, featured some rust on the frame and changed hands for £4,200.

Another interesting machine being sold was a shiny, obviously restored, ex-Canadian 1949 McCormick W4 with the petrol-only engine. Typically I’d have expected a machine in this condition to sell for about £3,000 (it’s not to British specification), however, two bidders decided to battle it out with the result that it actually sold for £7,000!

This Fordson Diesel Major No.TD324 Howard Rotaped trencher was a good runner and fetched £4,400.

We also ended up with a new record for an original-style Ford 7000 which, having already had a full engine rebuild, found a new owner for £32,500 + VAT. I really enjoyed the line of fine, original and clean crawlers, but the one that everyone wanted was evidently the County P55 Ploughman that had originally been supplied by AG Potter (Framlingham) Ltd.

This ex-Canadian, IHC W4 gas tractor with paperwork made a record £7,000.

The bidding just kept rising for this machine and, eventually, it sold for £10,800. I also noticed a fine Weatherhill 12H loading shovel, which was ex-military and had next to no hours on it. Yet it sold for just £800. It’s so sad that people don’t place more value on British plant of this sort. The final lot of the day was a Fowler VF ‘plonker’, with a Bray blade that looked as if it had hardly been used. The lot sold for a good £7,600, considering its condition.

This 1940 Caterpillar D6 No. 2H8324W was supplied new by Does to Shrubbs Farm, and sold for £3,800.

Bill King thanked everyone for attending as he brought the sale to a close just after 3pm, at which point the sun put in a brief appearance as the large crowd started to disperse. Clearly, hopeful investors are back into buying tractors again, and the world has certainly gone tractor-mad for original-style machines.

The 1943 Caterpillar D4 No. 2T1014SP, with a lovely drawbar, ran well and fetched £3,400.


The bargain of the sale was this ex-military, Weatherhill 12H loading shovel, No. 1583437; a wonderful machine at just £800.


Looking good, this Fordson E1A Major-based Jumbo crane ran well and sold for £600.


Having stood outside for some time, this Fowler VF with Bray blade (like new) sold for a very good £7,500.

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