1982 County smashes pre-sale estimate to become most expensive modern classic tractor sold to date
The tractor smashed its pre-sale estimate when it went under the hammer at Cheffins’ first vintage collective sale in 2022
The sale saw over 2,800 lots go under the hammer and buyers from across the UK and Europe.
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This county 1474 sold for £214,400
The County 1474, with a presale estimate of £120,000-140,000, sold for the highest price of the day.
After being completely restored, the tractor attracted considerable interest before the sale.
Other big sales in the tractor section included £73,000 for a 2004 JCB 2140, against an estimate of £60-65,000; £48,240 for a 1983 Mercedes-Benz MB-Trac 1500, well above its pre-sale estimate and £42,880 for a superb 1974 County 1164.
These were purchased by collectors in the UK and Ireland.
1983 Mercedes-Benz MB-Trac 1500
Another notable lot was a 1956 Fowler VF Crawler, which was found in its original condition having been used on the Landwade Hall Estate, near Newmarket, since new.
It sold for £16,080, against a pre-sale estimate of £6-7,000 and is a new record price for this particular model.
The sale also saw Cheffins’ largest shipment of motorcycles to date, with several high prices secured from the 80 lots on offer.
A collectible 1923 Morgan-Darmont Sports Model 980cc three-wheeler sold for £21,920 to a buyer in Lincolnshire, while a P&M ‘Rob North’ Triumph T150 racing motorcycle fetched £10,412, after having been sold to a collector in Northern Ireland.
£73,000 was paid for this 2004 JCB 2140
Other significant sales in the section included £9,644 paid for a 1950 499cc Norton 500T motorcycle and £8,329 for a 1952 499cc Sunbeam.
There was also a huge automobilia lot on offer, with over 400 lots under the hammer.
Section highlights include £5,600 for a 1930s Shell Satam two-door petrol pump; £5,376 for a Regent 100 petrol pump globe and £4,704 paid for a 1930s Dunlop model air tower, and the same price paid for a 1930s Dunlop Fort enamel sign.
Oliver Godfrey, Head of Machinery at Cheffins, commented: “We knew the April sale was going to be a record high, with a strong catalog of varied items, however selling over £2m is crazy!
A P&M ‘Rob North’ Triumph T150 race bike fetched £10,412
“The market is alive and well, in fact thriving, as collectors still have money in the bank that they want to invest in something tangible.
“Something they can see, use and enjoy.
“Collectors are getting younger and younger, so the market is really focusing on tractors and machines from the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, as they are looking to buy back some of their youth.
“It is impossible to put a price on the value of nostalgia.
“Many buyers are also looking for tractors that they believe will become the next collector’s item and an investment that will pay off.
“It appears that the market bets right now are mostly focused on Ford variants, such as County and Roadless, which are seeing double-digit year-over-year price growth.”
A collectible 1923 Morgan-Darmont Sports Model 980cc 3-wheeler sold for £21,920
Oliver continued, “It wasn’t just the tractors that made a lot of money from this sale.
“The classic motorcycle market is also vibrant, with buyers focusing on some of the earlier models from the 1950s and 1960s, while fresh-to-market automobilia items have attracted collectors from all over to bid live and online. .
“Automobilia has become a new class of collector in its own right and has seen strong growth in values as these vintage forecourt pieces become increasingly sought after.
“By running the sale over two days, we were able to offer live bidding on all sections and were delighted to welcome buyers, old and new, back to Sutton.”
The next collective sale will take place on Saturday July 23, at the Cheffins Machinery Sale Ground, Sutton, Ely, CB6 2QT.
For more information visit www.cheffins.co.uk or call Cheffins Auctioneers on 01353 777767.