Scotland Tractor Rally

Farm Collector goes to a tractor rally and visits the sights in the United Kingdom.

| January 2017

A gentle rain fell as the Ayrshire Vintage Tractor & Machinery Club rally got underway last July near Ayr on Scotland’s west coast. Sometimes the rain tapered off to a soft mist; at other times it could fairly be described as a downpour. Locals clad in sensible raingear and boots scarcely gave it a second thought. “Western Scotland,” one explained with a smile, “is where the clouds go to get refilled.”

The event was a model of organization. Displays were registered well in advance. When each item arrived on the appointed day, the owner was directed to a reserved spot complete with an identifying number that correlated to information printed in a booklet given out at the gate. Judging of the most interesting exhibit, best car and vintage commercial vehicle was conducted in advance and the results were published in the booklet.

A pair like dad’s

Henry Murdoch, Dalrymple, showed a 1947 Ferguson TE20 P3 and a 1954 Ferguson TEF 20 diesel. “My dad and granddad farmed with horses,” he says. “They stopped that in 1948. Dad got a petrol tractor first, and then a diesel.” So it was only natural that when Henry started a tractor collection, he’d look for a pair similar to those he grew up with.

Restoration of the 1947 TE20 was completed just a week before the rally. Used most recently to load manure, the tractor was complete when Henry got it, “but it was in a pretty poor state,” he admits. “I bought a lot of new parts and had the original engine rebuilt.”

The tractor’s bonnet (hood, to us Yanks) is original; the grille and wings (fenders) are replacements. For comfort’s sake, Henry added a modern seat. He also replaced a leaking fuel tank and repaired leaking oil seals on the rear axle. “It was a labor of love,” he says.

The TE20 has new Goodyear tires – two from Scotland, two from France. “It’s a global village now,” Henry says. His TE20 has an American Continental engine; his TEF is equipped with a Standard Motor Co. engine, with a design assist from engine designer Arthur Freeman-Sanders.