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Tractors and Trains Down Under

New Zealand show blends the best of two vintage worlds in a biennial event.

| June 2017

  • This 1901 traction engine was built by Burrell & Sons in England. It is now owned by Kaikohe Pioneer Village.
    Photo by Don Mackereth
  • This New Zealand-built 1915 WW Class steam locomotive is owned by Waiuku Vintage Railway.
    Photo by Don Mackereth
  • A 1917 Titan 10-20 paraffin oil tractor driving a 6-inch, double-acting Tangye water pump of the same vintage.
    Photo by Don Mackereth
  • Some 65 wheel tractors were displayed at the two-day show.
    Photo by Don Mackereth
  • The Mistress, a 3-speed compound engine, was road-transported from New Plymouth.
    Photo by Don Mackereth
  • One of the English Pullman carriages (owned by Glenbrook Vintage Railway) that was used for passenger rides to Glenbrook.
    Photo by Don Mackereth
  • This 1910 Blackstone 6-1/2 hp stationary diesel engine was part of the stationary engine display.
    Photo by Don Mackereth
  • This 1925 Aveling & Porter road roller (weighing 12 static tons) was powered by a Blackstone diesel engine.
    Photo by Don Mackereth
  • A Farmall Super C fitted with a sickle bar mower and towing a windrow hay rake.
    Photo by Don Mackereth
  • A demonstration of hay baling, forking hay into the baler.
    Photo by Don Mackereth

With a full head of steam and fuel tanks full of petrol, paraffin oil or diesel, everything was ready for the two-day Glenbrook Vintage Rail and Franklin Vintage Machinery biennial show held Feb. 25-26, down under in New Zealand. This was the eighth time in the past 16 years that the two main sponsors have come together to present the show in Glenbrook, 59 miles south of Auckland, New Zealand’s biggest city.

Show visitors were privileged to travel from Glenbrook to the small provincial town of Waiuku, a distance of 7 miles, in vintage British Pullman carriages drawn by one of two vintage steam locomotive engines. One engine, number 179 (rated in the WW Class), was built in 1915 in the Hillside Workshops in New Zealand. The other, a JA Class engine, was built in New Zealand in 1947.

After the railroad experience, spectators were towed around the 40-acre show site by one of two traction engines. The older engine, called Betty, was built in 1901 by Burrell & Sons of England and is now owned by the Kaikohe Pioneer Village. On show day, Betty was hauled some 200 miles to the event. The other, an Aveling & Porter 3-speed compound engine called The Mistress, was built in 1912. The privately owned Aveling & Porter was hauled from New Plymouth, a 500-mile round trip over some of New Zealand’s most notorious winding mountain roads.

The display of road-building machinery of the past offered a 1925 Aveling & Porter road roller powered by a Blackstone diesel engine of 18 hp running at 100 rpm. The other machine of great interest was a 1927 Ruston excavator powered by a Dorman petrol engine of 32 hp at 1,000 rpm.

Broad range represented

It would have been great to say that every tractor manufacturer was represented from A to Z, but unfortunately this year there were no Zetors present! There were, however, other manufacturers from around the world, accounting for a large range of brands in the 65 wheel tractors on display.

Allis-Chalmers, a B.F. Avery General and an Australia-built Chamberlain 90 dating to the early 1950s were represented, as was the David Brown line, from the earliest (the 1947 vintage), to the early 1970s, when the line was absorbed by Case. Fordson tractors were well represented with a good showing of Fordson Majors from the 1950s and two Fordson Dextas of the early 1960s, both models manufactured in England.


Farm Collector April 16Farm Collector is a monthly magazine focusing on antique tractors and all kinds of antique farm equipment. If it's old and from the farm, we're interested in it!

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