News

The little tractor that could

Few classic pieces of machinery are more worthy of rescuing from a slow death than the Ferguson tractor - especially one with the work history of this little beast.

Neville Madsen's lovingly restored 1955 Fergie looks an absolute treat, thanks in no small part to the six months of hard yakka that he put in to get it back to its former glory.

Many moons ago, before he picked the old girl up from a friend's farm in Redbank Plains, this particular tractor played a role in the post 1974 flood clean-up in Ipswich.

A few years later, Nev's friend of 40 years, Des Price, bought the Fergie from a property in One Mile, driving it home at the earth-shattering top speed of 15kmh to his property at Redbank Plains, where it would provide reliable service for the next few decades.

Mr Price put the old tractor out to pasture in 2007, when it started showing a few signs of age, and it was replaced with another Fergie.

Showing just how tough these old things are, the tractor stayed out in the weather for the next eight years, slowly rusting away before Nev finally got the itch to salvage it.

"I went to Scotland a few years ago to see my wife's cousin, and the chap next door had an old Fergie," Mr Madsen said.

"Seeing it totally reignited my passion for them - I loved them as a kid.

"I got talking to Des one day about how I was looking for one and Des mentioned the one he had sitting around on his property."

Far from being a lost cause, the old Fergie, despite looking a bit sad, was in surprisingly good nick.

The Massey-Harris-Ferguson TED 20 tractor as it was found. Mr Madsen plans to take the newly refurbished Fergie (above) on the country show circuit.
The Massey-Harris-Ferguson TED 20 tractor as it was found. Mr Madsen plans to take the newly refurbished Fergie (above) on the country show circuit. Contributed

Mr Madsen was able to complete the rebuild using almost all of the original machine, bar the new tyres, some of the ignition parts, the exhaust, the lights, and a generous lick of paint.

Fergie parts are still extremely easy to find, with many enthusiasts keeping suppliers busy.

"When I picked up the radiator the guy in the shop told me it was the third Ferguson tractor radiator they had delivered that week," Mr Madsen said.

Mr Madsen spent many hours rebuilding the tractor in his Collingwood Park garage, taking it from rusted farm wreck to a little rustic charmer that's enough to get any classic machinery lover salivating.

When it turned over first go, it gave Mr Madsen a smile ten miles wide.

"We heard him over in Redbank Plains," Mr Price said of his friend's excitement at firing up the Fergie after the rebuild.

"Now that Nev has got it looking so nice I think I want it back again."

Mr Price might have a hard time convincing his friend to part ways with the old Fergie.

"I spent about $7000 working on it but they've told me you can get about $10,000 for a fully restored one like this," Mr Madsen said.

"To me they are priceless."

Mr Madsen plans to take the Fergie on the country show circuit.

Topics:  general-seniors-news restoration


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Life as a Muslim in a Catholic school

SHARING BELIEFS: Abdul Malik has been helping people on the Coast understand Islam since he arrived in 2008.

"The more questions they asked me, the more I became energised.”

'It's the best thing I've done': Buddhist nun

FOUND HER CALLING: Lozang Lhagsam said Buddhism helped her identify what was important in life and how to live a meaningful existence.

Follow one woman's journey into Buddhism.

Local Partners

"There were times I cried because I'm not normal”

THE process of applying for and obtaining a job can be challenging for any teenager, but for Brianna Grice it comes with extra challenges.

What to expect at Birds of Tokyo's Ipswich gig

The band will perform at the Racehorse Hotel on Friday.

BAND member Glen Sarangapany talks music, pub grub and doing shoeys

What public holidays are left in 2017

Ipswich residents will get the day off tomorrow for the show.

IPSWICH residents will get tomorrow off for the show

Caitlyn comes home to launch debut album

Gympie's Caitlyn Shadbolt will launch here debut album Songs On My Sleeve at an exclusive all-ages concert in Gympie on Friday, May 26.

Win tickets to Caitlyn's album launch

Wonder Woman is a kick-arse superhero romp

WITH so much at stake, thank Zeus that Wonder Woman didn’t fall into the same trap as its DC Extended Universe predecessors.

Everything coming to Netflix, Stan, Foxtel and Amazon Prime Video this June

Orange Is The New Black returns for another season.

Find out what's being added to our streaming services in June.

Sam Armytage and Tom Cruise? Saaaaay what?

Apparently, the answer is no.

Musical tribute to flood volunteers released

Songwriter honours flood volunteers who helped their neighbours.

Lismore songwriter Simon Thomas was moved by strangers' kindness

Karl Stefanovic's rant about Schapelle Corby 'a bit rich'

Karl Stefanovic is sick of hearing about Schapelle Corby.

Maybe he just wanted to make himself the story.

Could Schapelle be heading for Gladstone?

Australian Schapelle Corby is escorted by Bali Police at the parole office in Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia, 27 May 2017.

Schapelle's mother teases her free daughter could be Gladstone bound

Six things you never knew about Men in Black

Mushu the pug

It's been 20 years since Men in Black first hit cinemas

New $46.7m counter-terrorism facility to be built in Wacol

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, pictured with Police Commisioner Ian Stewart, has announced plans to build a new counter-terrorism facility in Wacol.

The facility will be built over three years.

Home to a sex worker: Sordid history of iconic Coast shed

Milojevic Djordjevic's daughter Linda at the derelict shed on Yandina-Coolum Road.

The shed was once a liveable 'barrack'.

This is real estate's billion-dollar man

Bob Wolff at AREC with John McGrath of McGrath Real Estate.

They don’t call him the “Billion dollar man” for nothing

Man's amazing comeback from monster crisis

Pat O'Driscoll agents Penny Keating and Doug Webber sold 56 Agnes St, The Range at auction over the weekend.

NOT long ago, he sold his possessions to pay staff. Now he's back.

Report reveals progress on $319m airport upgrade

Aerials of the Sunshine Coast.Jetstar plane in front of the Susnhine Coast terminal, Sunshine Coast Airport.

Over two dozen government approvals needed for airport expansion

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!