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Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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Man who grew up on Irish farm pays over €250k for vintage tractor

Man who grew up on Irish farm pays over €250k for vintage tractor

A 60-year-old businessman, who grew up on an Irish farm, and is now a collector in Manchester, has paid what auctioneers believe to be a UK record price for a modern classic tractor.

Tom O’Connor forked out £214,400 for a 1982 County 1474 ‘Short Nose’ tractor at Cheffins’ first collective vintage sale of 2022 on Saturday, April 23rd.

Based on today’s (Thursday, April 28th, 2022) exchange rates, this price equates to circa €254,119.

The fully restored tractor witnessed “significant” pre-sale interest and smashed its pre-sale estimate of £120,000-140,000.

According to organisers, the first Cheffins collective vintage sale of 2022 grossed over £2m.

Buyers paid what they described as “record” prices for classic and vintage machinery and collectors’ items.

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The sale at Cheffins sale ground at Sutton, near Ely, saw over 2,800 lots go under the hammer.

Buyers attended from across the UK and Europe – including Ireland.

Other prices in the tractor section include:

  • £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 over its pre-sale estimate;
  • £42,880 for a 1974 County 1164;
  • A record price of £16,080 for a 1956 Fowler VF Crawler against a pre-sale estimate of £6,000-7,000. It said in its original condition, having been used on the Landwade Hall Estate, near Newmarket, since new.
Record-breaking prices

Oliver Godfrey, head of the machinery department at Cheffins, says the machinery group knew that this month’s sale was “going to be a record-breaker” given its “strong” catalogued varied items.

However, he described the sale gross of over £2m-worth as “bonkers”.

“Collectors are becoming younger, so the focus in the market is really on tractors and machinery from the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s as they look to buy up a part of their youth.”

“It is impossible to put a price on the value of nostalgia. Many buyers are also looking for tractors which they believe will become the next collector’s piece and an investment which will pay dividends.”

“It appears that at the moment, the market’s bets are mainly focussed on Ford variants, such as County and Roadless, which are seeing double-digit price growth year-on-year.”

Overall, he said the market is “alive and well; in fact, it is thriving”. He explained that collectors still have cash in the bank, which they want to invest in something “tangible that they can see and use and enjoy”.

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