Last year a tractor made in 1912 by Melbourne company, A.H. McDonald, sold for more than $400,000 at an auction in the US.
This goes to show Aussie tractors are not only cherished by the Australian farming community, but also worldwide.
The big mean machines are looked at as historical art, being centrepieces of the development of Australian agriculture and farming. Whether old-style or modern, worn out or completely new; Aussie tractors are still in fashion for collectors around the world.
Most Australian tractor brands, like Chamberlain, were bought up by large US and European manufacturers. Chamberlain was purchased by John Deere in 1970.
But the traditional source for machinery including tractors was England, and the first internal combustion tractors to be sold in Australia were English Ivels which arrived in 1903.
Twelve months ago, auction house Donington sold more than 100 restored vintage tractors.
Donington Director, Cameron Sabine says, “We sold everything and at good prices too. All of the tractors came from a single collector and most were in good running order. While some of the tractors went overseas, a vast majority went to collectors in New South Wales and Victoria.”
Cameron says his background is in classic cars, however, the wide interest in tractors meant that he would be running more auctions for vintage farm machinery in the future. “There are definitely a lot of people interested in tractors,” he says.