East Anglian farmer’s vintage tractor collection sale expected to raise £2m
- Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2015
A spectacular collection of vintage tractors amassed by an East Anglian farmer and entrepreneur has attracted global interest ahead of today's landmark auction.
Paul Rackham spent 25 years buying and restoring almost 200 old and rare agricultural machines, with the goal of acquiring the best, the earliest or the rarest models possible.
And the collection – thought to be the biggest of its kind in Britain – is expected to fetch up to £2m when it goes under the hammer at Camp Farm in Roudham, near Thetford.
After the EDP reported it in July, the auction has made headlines on national TV, radio and newspapers, while potential bidders have registered their interest from around the world.
The sale is being jointly handled by specialist vintage auctioneers Cheffins and agricultural machinery auctioneers Clarke and Simpson.
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Cheffins director Bill King said: 'Media interest has reached a crescendo. We've also had inquiries from as far afield as New Zealand and the US, as well as from collectors throughout Europe.
'It's probably the UK's largest vintage tractor collection, so there was little doubt that it would create such interest, but it's very satisfying that tractors are causing such a stir.'
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Mr Rackham, 79, said he was disposing of the collection to focus on a new challenge, as his family didn't share his passion for vintage machinery.
Among the famous manufacturers' names such as John Deere, Ford and Allis Chalmers, there are also some less familiar ones, such as Peterbro, British Wallis and Rumley – many restored to a higher standard than when they first rolled off the production lines.
One of the sale highlights will be the flagship of the collection – a Holt 75, built in 1918, which is the sole surviving example operated by the British Army during the First World War.
But the collector's favourites include a 1948 Caterpillar D7, the same model used by his company on landfill sites as he built up his company, Waste Recycling Group (WRG), which was sold in 2003 for £531m.
The auction starts at 9.30am. Entry is by catalogue only, available on the door.