Over £1million Worth Of Vintage Collectors' Items Sold At Auction

Extremely rare vintage tractor, Holt 75, makes £62,000; four inch scale model steam engine achieves £12,500; over £237,000 spent on four steam engines; Harley Davidson with side-car makes £13,000

Over £1 million worth of vintage tractors, steam engines, classic vehicles and collectors’ items were sold at the Cheffins Cambridge Vintage sale on Saturday.


The most popular items on the day were four rare steam engines which were sold to a total value of £237,000. The biggest ticket item in this section was a 1927 Foden C Type steam wagon which made £122,000 and was sold to a collector from Cambridgeshire. The other steam engines sold included a 1930 Aveling and Porter Steam Tractor for £37,000; a 1932 Ruston and Hornsby Portable Steam Engine for £38,000 and a 1926 Fowler steam roller which made £40,000.  

Only one of four examples known to exist in the UK, an incredibly rare Holt 75 made a stunning £62,000, making it the most expensive item in the 150 lot tractor section. It dates back to 1914 and was built in Peoria, Illinois, sometime from 1914-1924 The Holt was initially built for the military and was supplied to the British, French, Russian and US armies during WW1. This specimen in particular was originally part of the famous Heidrick Tractor Collection, part of the California Agriculture Museum and is thought to have been built in 1917 to military specifications. It was sold to a private collector from Lincolnshire.  Other tractors which saw strong prices included a 1989 Marshall for £23,000 and a 1978 Massey Ferguson 1505 which made £10,200.  

Vintage motorcycles saw some top dollar prices paid with the main attraction being a 1931 1200cc Harley Davidson with a fibre-glass replica Swallow sidecar which achieved £13,000 and was purchased by an enthusiast from Herefordshire. Other prices for classic motorcycles include; £5,800 for a 1965 350cc Velocette Viper; £7,800 for a 1987 Brooklands Triton; and £7,000 for a 1967 350cc Velocotte Viper. Another key motorcycle was a 1928 350 cc FN M70 which is the same model as those ridden across the Sahara desert by Belgian officers in 1926. This machine in particular featured on Henry Cole’s ‘Shed & Buried,’ TV show and made £5,000. A number of vintage motorcycles were sold to European purchasers, with a large number destined for Italy in particular.  

Live steam models were also popular items of the day, with a storming £12,500 paid for a four inch scale Foster agricultural engine which was built from scratch. A number of three inch scale smaller models, belonging to a Mr N H Melton of Horncastle sold for over £1,000 per piece. In his 90’s, Mr Melton sold his collection due to his advancing years, all of which were meticulously built by hand over a number of decades. The most popular item in his collection was a small 3 inch scale Massey Ferguson 780 combine harvester which sold for an incredible £6,400. Jeremy Curzon, Director, Cheffins comments: “Mr Melton’s collection was something utterly unique. He chose some most unusual subjects which were keenly contested by our buyers. Achieving over £10,000 in total, these items’ popularity is a testament to Mr Melton’s skill and dedication to his hobby. Now over 90 years old, Mr Melton was happy to see the items go to new homes.”  

A series of rural and domestic bygone items from Holkham Hall sold for over £15,000 in total, with all proceeds going to the new interactive farming exhibition at the estate, ‘Field to Fork.’ An ex-Anglia TV studio camera on its steerable dolly made £1,000, whilst a collection of Edwardian camera equipment made £640. Enamel signs always prove popular, with a Raleigh sign making £1,600, which is one of the highest prices achieved for an item such as this on the day. A number of the bygone items were sold to antique dealers, collectors and enthusiasts.    

William King, Director at Cheffins comments: “Some stunning collectors’ items saw record prices paid at Saturday’s sale. We always expected the Holt 75 and the steam engines to achieve some serious money, however there were some surprises with a number of models making strong prices.  The market for everything vintage, from vast steam engines down to enamel signs and small models, continues to be buoyant. Purchasers and serious collectors are willing to part with vast sums of cash for the best items and we are pleased to see this market continue to thrive against the backdrop of economic uncertainty across the UK. We had visitors from all over the world on Saturday, all of whom were looking for that something which is a bit different to add to their collections. Cheffins’ Cambridge Vintage Sale is still one of the most important events in the vintage enthusiasts’ calendars and we hope to see this growth continue.”  

Full results from the sale can be found here

The next sale will be 22nd April 2017 at Cheffins Machinery Sale Ground, Sutton, Ely, CB6 2QT.  For more information call Cheffins Vintage team on 01353 777767 (option 2) or click here to email. 



Philip Woolner analyses the activity in all sectors of the #commercial #property market over the last 12 months - r… https://t.co/OZlv0IufAx Read more


London's most viewed property is £250k tiny flat the size of a bedroom https://t.co/hIOMWpKRge Read more


12th December
Cambridge - 'the plucky underdog' in the boom in life sciences, biotech and AI - long-read on our city's £4.2bn lif… https://t.co/pWpmF1eeyh Read more