Massey-Harris Sale in the UK

| 1/16/2012 12:03:56 PM

Tags: massey-harris,

I take an excellent magazine from Great Britain, or the U.K., as it’s generally referred to today. Named Vintage Tractor & Countryside Heritage, the magazine is published by Churn Lane Publishing Ltd., in the town of Market Deeping, Lincolnshire, and is edited by Stuart Gibbard, a well-respected British antique and classic tractor expert, with a number of books on the hobby to his credit.

VT allows me to keep up with the rusty iron hobby in the U.K. and Europe, and from its pages I frequently learn something about American tractors that I didn’t know.

For instance, the just received February 2012 issue clears up most of the mystery about the Galloway tractors that were supposedly ordered from England during World War I and never paid for, supposedly driving Galloway into bankruptcy (William Galloway – Mail Order Magnate, March 2009, Farm Collector). I’ll clear this up shortly in a letter to the magazine.

Also in the February issue is a story about a short film, called Ghost in the Machine, that was made in Britain and that stars a 1950s Massey-Harris Model 745, a uniquely British model built at the M-H factory in Kilmarnock, Scotland. Noreen, the heroine of the film, is a young farm girl who is made to work like a slave by her abusive father. By accident, Noreen finds an abandoned and derelict tractor in a dump on the farm.

In a story reminiscent of Stephen King’s Christine, the old tractor speaks to her, in an American accent no less, and is the only voice with a kind word for the girl. Noreen decides to rescue the decrepit old machine and fix it up. When the tractor has been almost restored to like new condition, the girl’s father discovers the project, realizes that the tractor is now quite valuable and vows to sell it. The magazine blurb doesn’t say how the film ends, but only that “… the tractor and a reawakened Noreen have something different in mind!”

Three different Massey-Harris 745 tractors were used in the film, one a rusty one to portray the machine as found, another rusty one without an engine to show it being worked on, and a completely restored one to be the finished product.