All in a year's work

Jeremy Curzon of the Vintage Machinery team at Cheffins reviews sales during 2016

2016 has seen the Vintage team travelling far and wide to uncover the unusual, extraordinary and the unique in their busiest year to date. As Europe’s leading auctioneer for second-hand vintage machinery, we have had one of our most successful years to date with stellar prices achieved across a number of different categories. 

Bill Richards Collection of Spitfire spares and related items (March at the Sutton Saleground)

Two days of rummaging in Lancashire sheds, followed by 4 low loaders making the trip to the Sutton Saleground. Cheffins’ two man team then set up one of the most impressive looking sales the building at Sutton has ever seen with a full size replica Spitfire taking centre stage amongst an array of engines and spares. Always ready for a challenge, Cheffins really showed its strength and diversity and prices achieved ranged from £40 up to £30,500 for the replica Spitfire.  

Haylock Collection Classic and Vintage Tractors (March in Cambridgeshire)

Cold March winds and snow didn’t stop buyers travelling to this classic little farm sale where a small collection of tractors, vehicles and farmyard bygones went under the hammer. In the shadow of the village church, the yard thronged with buyers eager for a purchase and a classic 1988 John Deere 4250 took £10,000 whilst a 1947 Fordson Thames flatbed for restoration made £4,100.  

April Vintage Sale (Sutton Saleground)

Definitely established as an institution amongst the Vintage buying community this 3,000 lot sale drew buyers from all over the UK and Europe. A vast 174 lot entry in the model section saw a top price of £72,000 paid for a superb pair of 4-inch scale Fowler ploughing engines, a flourishing section of our sales. Top tractor on the day was a £27,500 1917 Overtime Model R, top motorcycle was a Vincent Rapide at £36,000 and amongst the stationary engines £11,000 purchased an 1899 Crossley 6hp gas engine.  

The Keeley Collection of Steam Engines, Tractors and Commercial Vehicles (May in Berkshire)

Billed as the sale of the century, this fabled collection came to auction after having been locked away for many years and disappearing under the brambles. As far as the Cheffins team were concerned this was the most fun you could have in a dirty shed with your clothes on and cries of ‘look what I’ve found’ rang out every 5 minutes. With 19 steam engines, 49 of the rarest tractors and a multitude of ancient and decaying commercial vehicles not to mention the choicest of spares and bygones drew buyers from all corners in a true auction fever. Enough column inches, radio and TV air time have covered the extraordinary prices achieved at this sale but to note a few of them, a 1928 Foden Timber Tractor took top price of £140,000, an original fairground ‘Dobby’ ride with 18 carved horses took £18,000 and a Cheffins UK auction record for a vintage tractor in the form of a premium inclusive £84,000 1917 International Twin Mogul.  

Sewell horse-drawn Plough Collection (May in Cambridgeshire)

This was another single owner collection and a large one! Enthusiasts for early horse-drawn equipment made their way to Brampton where a Samuelson & Co. horse-drawn reaper took £1,600 and a Chamberlain single furrow plough made £1,000.  

Allerton Collection Classic and Vintage Tractors (June in Yorkshire)

The Allerton sale was another single owner collection based around early Marshall’s and sold on behalf of the collector’s widow. Set in the glorious East Yorkshire countryside, the team again spent many hours in dusty sheds sorting out the spares and bygones in the blazing June heat. A truly flying trade saw £20,500 paid for a Marshall Model M Contractors Model and it took a stunning £62,000 to secure a 1956 Marshall MP6. This also has to be possibly the most beautiful venue we’ve ever held an auction.  

John Wade Collection Classic and Vintage Tractors (July in Co. Durham)

A truly diverse collection of working petrol/paraffin tractors, cars and implements that saw Cheffins staff heading into the North East. The best catering wagon this year and a good crowd of eager buyers from the locality. A sweet little 1927 Austin tractor conversion was the centre of attention and made £3,700, whilst a 6 cylinder Fordson E27N took top price at £8,200  

July Vintage Sale (Sutton Saleground)

Although the smallest of the three Cambridge Vintage sales, 1500 lots is still a large auction by any standards and this one was boosted by a good collection of vintage cars from Holkham Hall along with a stunning and rare Alfa Romeo Montreal which required a substantial £42,000 to secure. The Holkham cars were led by a 1926 Morris Bullnose Tourer at £11,200 and a 1923 Wolseley 7 Light car at £11,500. Motorcycles saw a fabulous selling rate with a Norton Commando at £7,000 leading the pack and tractors were led by another 1917 Overtime which achieved £26,000.  

The Harrogate Sale (August in Yorkshire)

Yorkshire came up trumps again with a near 1,000 lot entry for this ever popular sale, the size of the crowd always defies description. With over 105 vehicles and tractors on offer it was a modified 1950 Land Rover Series 1 that started proceedings at £11,200, a 1975 ERF A series tractor unit made £10,200 and amongst the agricultural tractors a 1966 Massey Ferguson 135 with just 969 hours took £19,000. At the same price a modern classic in the form of a 1980 Roadless 780 saw fierce competition.  

October Vintage Sale (Sutton Saleground)

A huge 2,500 lot sale with another strong model entry which yielded £12,500 for a 4inch scale Foster Agricultural Engine and £6,400 for an unique 3-inch scale Massey Ferguson 780 Combine Harvester. The motorcycle section saw a near sell out with 34 of the 35 examples offered changing hands with a 1931 Harley Davidson VL at £13,000 making top price. Tractors saw a 1989 Marshall 100-4 achieve £23,000 and a jaw dropping Holt 75 Gun Tractor dating from 1917 sold at £62,000. Six full size steamers were presented for sale with five changing hands, top price was a substantial £122,000 paid for a 1927 Foden C Type Steam Wagon.  

Cheffins stands alone with its ability to offer and sell such unique and valuable vehicles and 2016 was one of the best year’s we have had to date. We are looking forward to 2017, with some strong items already entered into our April Vintage Sale at Sutton. We also have a number of on site sales booked in which ought to generate interest from far and wide.  

To find out more about both buying and selling with Europe’s leading specialist in vintage vehicles and related items contact the team on t:01353 777767.

Ruston Proctor Tractor



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