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Interesting News and Tips

Vintage tractors and machinery collections worth over $1m.

By in Interesting News and Tips

Are you are a farmer who likes to sneak off to the shed to tinker whenever you’ve got a minute to spare? You’re not the only one!

Vintage tractors have a cult following worldwide. It’s a bit of a niche hobby, championed by enthusiasts handy with a wrench, inventive with curse words and above all, abundant in perseverance. Where most people see rusty old hunks of junk, vintage tractor lovers see only potential. And dedicate their spare time to filling their sheds and yards with oddments of machinery that may or may not one day turn into something functioning.

Australia has been host to two major vintage tractor auctions in 2018 so far, both displaying an impressive range of highly valued (and valuable) machinery, and gaining international attention. It’s events such as these that bring enthusiasts together to appreciate a collection well-maintained and hard-earned. The time and effort put into restoring old tractors is immense, and often supersedes any monetary figure placed upon them. A love of old machinery is definitely the driving force behind the hobby. Nevertheless, large, running vintage tractor collections are worth a pretty penny. We take a look at two Aussie farmers who parted company with their prized collections, worth over $1 million.

Tony Pailthorpe’s collection of International Harvester Company machinery is auctioned.

The late Tony Pailthorpe was passionate about the restoration of International Harvester Company (now Navistar International Machinery) tractors. He would often travel to the United States to track down authentic parts and search for one-of-a-kind vintage tractors to bring back to life. His collection of around 150 models of IHC tractors was thought to be the largest in the Southern Hemisphere.

After his death, his family made the bittersweet decision to auction his legacy to fellow tractor enthusiasts and hobbyists. The auction took place on the Aberbechan farm in Benger, WA on April 21, and saw a large crowd from local properties, interstate, China, NZ and the US. Around 1000 pieces were set to sell under the hammer, with an accumulative price of over $1M.

The star of the collection was a Milwaukee-made 1912 IHC Titan Type D with a single-cylinder engine. It was almost sold at $190 000, but the family believed it was worth more. Other highlights included a 1930 McCormick Deering (one of only a handful left in the world!), a 1917 IHC Titan 15-30 and a Farmall Widefront F12.

Albert Brimblecrombe auctions over 400 lots of vintage machinery, including 100 restored tractors.

Albert Brimblecrombe, a former Toowoomba cotton farmer, was blown away by the level of interest he received in the auction of his vintage machinery collection. Over 3000 people came to admire his lovingly restored tractors and farming machinery on June 23 at his property in Highfields, Toowoomba.

Brimblecrombe started his collection in the 80s, which gradually progressed to over 100 tractors, which he restored by hand. He’d often attend auctions himself, or track down rusty old machines taking up room in people’s paddocks. It was the challenge of seeing if he could get it back up and running that spurred him along.

The focus of Brimblecrombe’s collection was also a Titan Type D from 1911, which he spent eight years making and tracking down parts to restore. It sold under the hammer for $80 000. Many of his other tractors made five-figure sums, including a 1941 John Deere Model H (the smallest John Deere ever made!), which he had imported from the US. To read more on the vast range of tractors sold at the auction (with an impressive collection of John Deere’s) see this article by Neil Lyon of Grain Central.


Are you a lover of vintage machinery? Check out some of these fantastic vintage machinery events for old tractor and farm machinery enthusiasts around Australia in 2018! And don’t forget that if you need a safe and secure way to transport your beloved vintage tractors to club meets or shows Australia-wide, Door to Door Car Carrying can help you out. Contact us today for a free quote!