Vintage tractor goes under the hammer

A RESTORED vintage tractor has gone on sale in an online auction today to raise money for the Royal Scottish Agricultural Benevolent Institution (RSABI).

The Straight Axle Massey Ferguson 135 – complete with original factory-fitted power steering and a pickup hitch-drawbar combination – was donated to RSABI by farmer Harold McKeever to be restored and sold in aid of the charity.

The tractor comes with the original registration document and original instruction book.

McKeever bought the tractor as new in April 1973.

When he moved to Scotland from Northern Ireland in 1976, he drove the tractor from County Down to Larne, took the ferry, and then continued on the tractor from Stranraer up the coast to Ayrshire.

Explaining why he donated the tractor to RSABI, McKeever said: “I feel I’ve had a very good innings and wanted to give something back to the industry, and to RSABI in particular.”

The tractor was restored by RSABI Ayrshire voluntary committee members John McNae and Russell McNab, and other members of the Ayrshire Vintage Tractor & Machinery Club.

The “nuts and bolts” restoration took place in McNae’s workshop during evenings prior to the initial spring lockdown.

McNab said: “This Massey Ferguson 135 is now in pristine condition.

“We hope its sale will attract a lot of interest, particularly with its unusual history of being driven all the way from County Down to Ayrshire by its previous owner.”

Over the past ten years, RSABI’s Ayrshire voluntary committee has raised more than £100,000 for the charity, with fundraising efforts including two previous tractor restorations.

McNae said: “As an agricultural engineer, volunteering with RSABI’s Ayrshire voluntary committee has been a very rewarding way to give back to the agricultural community and those who have fallen on hard times.

“Previous tractor restorations have been a great fundraising success for our committee, and we hope the sale of this perfect vintage tractor will raise further vital funds for RSABI.

“I’d like to thank those who helped to sponsor some of the parts for the tractor.”

The tractor is being sold by Pentland Auctions in Kirriemuir during its online auction of “Quality Vintage & Classic Tractors, Implements and Sundries”, which began today and runs until Monday 23 November.

The auction can be viewed at

Auctioneer Graham Burke is forgoing his commission on the sale to further support the charity.

RSABI chief executive Nina Clancy said: “We’re incredibly grateful to Mr McKeever for kindly donating his tractor to RSABI, and to all involved in its restoration and auction – particularly members of RSABI’s Ayrshire fundraising committee and the Ayrshire Vintage Tractor & Machinery Club.

“The funds raised from the sale of this lovely tractor will make a huge difference and help us provide support to people in Scottish farming and crofting.”

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