What's Up Down Under at the Vintage Harvest Festival

New Zealand's Vintage Harvest Festival showcases old tractors and other antique farm equipment.


| October 2015



Lanz Bulldog

The display included two Lanz Bulldogs of German heritage: big single-cylinder, broad-acre tractors from the early 1950s.

Photo by Don Mackereth

Attracting restored vintage tractors and farm machinery from the surrounding area, the Vintage Harvest Festival was held early this year in Glenbrook, 60 miles south of Auckland, New Zealand’s largest city. Planning had been underway for some time, with old models given the final polish, and the band and food were organized in readiness for the biennial event.

Held March 21-22, 2015, the festival is sponsored by the Franklin Vintage Machinery Club. A 15-year tradition, the show is a place where “city meets country,” with many city visitors attending the two-day event.

As always, there was a range of Fordsons on display. The smallest was a Ford Ferguson of the 1930s; the largest was a 4-wheel drive Ford 5000. Within the Ford range, there were 1950s Fordson Majors (both petrol and diesels) and diesel Dextas along with one or two later model 1000 series Fords.

David Browns from the English stables were well represented, including David Brown Cropmasters from the late 1940s to the David Browns of the 1960s (model 850’s and 990’s), as well as Nuffields (also English) with models ranging from the early PM’s, 3/42’s and 10/60’s to the later 3/45’s and the 4/65’s. 

Two or three stationary engine clubs exhibited about 100 vintage stationary engines, each popping away as it powered a pump or generator demonstrating the technology of yesteryear.

The tractor pull competition, always a spectator drawing card, was hotly contested with tractors of all shapes and sizes vying for honors. Throughout both days, an aerial viewing of the show could be made in a Vietnam-vintage “MASH” 1965 Bell 47 helicopter.