David Brown 880 Selectamatic Restoration

This Welsh restorer strives for perfection when returning this 1967 tractor to its former glory.

| September 2019

david-brown
The Selectamatic, owned by Geraint Jones, won the trophy for Best Tractor at the David Brown Tractor Club's 50th anniversary event. 

Looking at my articles, readers might be mistaken in thinking that all of us who collect old tractors in Britain are scruffy beggars. This simply isn’t true. It just happens to be the case that many of my family members whom I write about tend to have unrestored tractors.

It seems that we as a family are quite good at getting old tractors running, but we lack the patience and skill involved in producing a perfect finish when it comes to paintwork. We tend to wipe our tractors over with an oily rag and leave it at that. I’ve personally always been of the opinion that unless you are going to do a really top class job at painting a tractor, it is better to leave it well alone, as it is all too easy to devalue and spoil an old tractor by getting too enthusiastic with the paintbrush.

david-brown
The David Brown Selectamatic 880 on the day Geraint Jones bought it in 2012. He stripped it right down and worked his way through the whole tractor, a process that took two years from start to finish.



Raising the restoration bar

The unrestored look, complete with rust and dents, isn’t something that tractor enthusiast and all-round perfectionist and Welshman Geraint Jones could even begin to entertain. We all buy old tractors for different reasons, and the reason Geraint bought his 1967 David Brown Selectamatic 880 was to restore it to a high level and then to show it.

Geraint has no wish to work his tractor, or to plough competitively with it. “I just couldn’t!” he says with a laugh. “Not after all the work we’ve put in!” Geraint is keen to emphasize the word “we” as opposed to “I” when it comes to the restoration, because although Geraint is the owner and the mastermind behind the project, he freely admits that he couldn’t have done it alone. Geraint’s good friend, John Armitage, acted as “chief engineer” on the project and proved invaluable in helping Geraint with what proved to be a much bigger project than first anticipated.



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