A Taste of the Amber Nectar

Discover a taste of amber and learn about a pair of iconic orange tractors, the reliable Fordson N and the dependable Nuffield 4/60.

| March 2020

During World War II, the decision was made to change the livery to green. The story is that this was to protect the factories (which had hundreds of orange tractors parked outside) from bombers, but it is likely that it made individuals using the tractors out in the open fields feel a little safer too.

Jo Roberts samples a pair of iconic orange tractors

I have several nephews, and it seems like no time since they were all running around covered in dirt, playing on imaginary motorbikes and pushing toy cars around as they made revving sounds. Now these mucky, noisy boys are all grown up, but all of them remain obsessed with machines, in particular old machines, preferably those with an engine. I’m a lucky aunty, as they have turned into good lads and I’m proud of them all.

One nephew, Mathew Roberts, is a welder who lives and works in the nearby market town of Llanrwst. Anyone who came on the Farm Collector tractor tour to the U.K. in August 2018 would have met him at the yard where he works, where we displayed a few of our family’s tractors for tour participants to see. Mathew, who is almost always known by his nickname “Ziggs” (I can’t begin to explain just how common nicknames are in Wales) has been collecting and tinkering with old tractors and Land Rovers from an early age, and it was a hobby that came easily to him since his father (Pete) is also, it’s fair to say, pretty obsessed with the same things.

The first model N tractors were painted blue. In 1937, the orange livery was introduced. This example is curious in that it has a “water washer”-style air filter, more typically associated with the blue tractors. 

Since the Farm Collector visit, Mathew has acquired two “new” old tractors: a Fordson N and a Nuffield 4/60, which he bought together from a local collector. “I had really only gone to see a nice original-looking grey Ferguson that was for sale,” he explains, “but when I got there, the engine was in a bad way. But while I was there, I saw the Fordson and liked the look of it. Then, when I saw the Nuffield, I thought that looked interesting. I couldn’t choose between the two and I ended up buying them both.”

The Nuffield 4/60 (pictured here with a friend's homemade log splitter on the rear) is now at least a 90hp tractor.


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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