Massey-Harries  tractors

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49 Boston Avenue, Hornby, Christchurch 8004 New Zealand

Massey tractors on left, traction engines and other equipment on right.

To sum up in a few words, and going by comments at the rally and from what we have heard since, the Massey 150th Expo Rally held Easter weekend, March 29-31, 1997 in Aylesbury, Canterbury, New Zealand, was one big successful rally.

It doesn't matter from what angle you look at it, whether it was the brilliant weather throughout the four days (this including set-up day on Good Friday), or the largest ever rally for New Zealand and probably the Southern Hemisphere of 1,250 exhibits of which half were tractors, or having an attendance of 15,000 plus people over the weekend, it was all very successful.

The organizing committee with support from our Vintage Farm Machinery Club, was both glad and rewarded in deciding to stage a working rally in contrast to a static display at a show grounds. The usual attractions of previous rallies, like pulling sledges and dyno testing etc., were very quiet at this event, because there was so much else to do with tractors. For example, some tractors were hooked up to harvesting equipment, one day was the official ploughing match which involved many tractors, and there were many and varied parades in the ring during each day; but, the thing which pleased many was the fact that they could hook onto a plough, cultivator or whatever and do their own thing. Another plus were the traction engines, crawler and spade-lugged tractors which had no restrictions of movement on the grounds.

The harvesting demonstrations were one of the main highlights of the week-end. Harvesting equipment at work included mowers, side-delivery reapers, reaper and binders, old tractor-drawn combines, to the later Massey-Harris self ropelleds and, to complete the picture, two Massey Ferguson combines: one a MF 815 which lives on the property, and the other a huge MF 38 which is second biggest of the latest Danish-made models.

Of course, you cannot have a rally of these proportions without the old time harvesting scene of traction engines and old wooden mills. We were fortunate to have two of these threshing side by side for an hour or two on each of the three days, also to have a tin mill and chaff cutter at work to cover all the various eras of the last 100 years or so.

At the other end of the spectrum was the ploughing and cultivation which was another real plus for the weekend. There were 30 acres for play or pleasure ploughing, and this served another purpose for the competition ploughmen to set up their ploughs for the official vintage ploughing match which was held on the middle day of the three. This proved to be quite a competitive match with 27 ploughmen entered, and was divided into five classes according to how many furrows, and whether the ploughmen fitted in to a novice class or one for the more experienced. There were also cultivators and other tillage equipment there to have a go with, if you or your tractor felt so inclined.

Another first was an auction which was run during the last afternoon, and for two reasons, the main one being to keep the crowd around till the last, and the other was to provide an opportunity for owners to quit surplus equipment. What better opportunity for this when so many like-minded people are in attendance to keep the bidding alive.

So many overseas people remarked that they had never seen anything like it before, and of course New Zealanders hadn't either. It was great to have this international flavor at our rally, and I talked to several individually who were not in either the Australian or the American groups. Many remarked on the numerous events taking place all through the day, both in the ring and out in the harvesting or the various forms of ploughing.

The numerous craft displays (approximately 120) were a great attraction for everyone and particularly for the ladies I know, but whenever I had a look from the various marquee entrances, there were many men-folk and children to be seen in there too. The outside sites, whether they were craft, trade, books, badges or whatever, all added to the occasion.

It was great to have some horses there too, the pack horses, the Clydesdale mare and foal, together with horse gear consisting of various types of harnesses, carts and drays.

That brings to mind even the Harley Davidson Motorcycle Club who came out in force one day to give rides to children and donated the money to the Cancer Society. At this point, I should mention that a substantial percentage of our takings, over and above our expenses, are to be donated to the Cancer Society, for a building project to accommodate people who are undergoing cancer treatment in Christchurch city.

Now we had better start on the machinery. I will not feel guilty this time about mentioning the Massey camp first and foremost, because if it wasn't for them, there would have been no rally. For this Massey event, was it by chance that everything was so successful and the sun shone throughout!! (No more of that, Derek.) However, joking aside, that display of Masseys will take some beating, even worldwide. To have five of their fore runners Wallis tractors was a real bonus, two British and three American models. Also, who would ever have guessed that after 40 years since the last Massey-Harris tractor was manufactured, that we could assemble 154 of them in one place, and that in New Zealand, which is on the other side of the world to where any of these tractors were manufactured. By the very recent paint jobs on some of them, I know a gallant effort was made to get as many there as possible. It's incredible the survival rate of these old red and yellows. I can readily count another dozen or two in the area which did not make it to the rally either.

A breakdown of the models represented were: four four-wheel drive, one Challenger, five 81, sixteen 101 Twin Power and 101 Super, thirteen 101 Senior, one 203, seven 30, five 55, six Pacer, six 744PD, one Foal (locally made), one 55 Miniature, six Pacemaker, one 25, one 102 Junior, seventeen 101 Junior, eight 20, fourteen 44, eleven Pony, four Colt, twenty-two 744D, and three 745.

The only models not represented were: 102 Senior, the big war-time 201 and 202, 22, 33 (there were three of these at Gore), Mustang, M-H 50, 333, 444, 555, and the British 745S. Most of these models were not imported into New Zealand. It will be interesting to note the numbers of Massey-Harris tractors that will be assembled at the 150 Year celebrations worldwide during 1997, and to see if, or how many times, the total of 154 can be equaled or bettered.

Now to move on to the Ferguson line. We have one private collector alone who displayed a Ford Ferguson 9N tractor, four or five TEA's and two or three FE 35 tractors, but his range of Ferguson implements and equipment was tremendous. At least 50 various items ranging from ploughs through to things like a tractor jack or a Standard Vanguard service van which was used by Ferguson dealers in the early 1950s.

In our main Ferguson display was a Ferguson Brown and Ferguson crawler specially brought down from the North Island to catch this rally as well as the Gore Rally nearly two months earlier. Each of these are the only ones of their type in New Zealand. Following these were two Ford Fergusons, 13 TEAs, four TEF diesels, and five FE35s, making a total of 26 tractors. Some were fitted up with various implements or mowers, etc. This made a total of approximately 34 Grey Fergies on the grounds, which was a good effort.

Massey Ferguson was well represented too, with a total of 38 tractors, a late model baler, and an MF 815 combine.

The tractors comprised: three MF 35, three MF 135, one MF 185, one MF 1080, one MF 1150, one MF 1200 pivot steer, one MF 1805 pivot steer, one MF 595, two MF 240, two MF 50E Indust., one MF 2720, one MF 3060, one MF 3075, one MF 3645, three MF 65, two MF 188, one MF 148, one MF 1135, one MF 1155, one MF 1505 pivot steer, one MF 575, one MF 210, two MF 265, one MF 2640, two MF 675, one MF 3065, one MF 3095, and one MF 399.

At this point I must mention about the involvement and the wonderful display of new Massey Ferguson equipment by Power Farming (Wholesale) Limited (the New Zealand distributors for Massey Ferguson), and its local agents Canterbury Tractors Limited. Between them they displayed five or six tractors ranging from their little ride-on with mower, to the big MF 8160-200 HP machine, also a medium square baler and a huge MF 38 combine. These two firms were also our major sponsors for our Expo rally.

Total tractors under the Massey umbrella Wallis, Massey-Harris, Ferguson, and Massey Fergusontotaled a grand tally of 221, quite a remarkable feat. The harvesting display comprised 12 Massey combines, this including two early Australian Sunshine headers, one a very early horse-drawn machine and the other an early auto. The others were made up of two No. 15s, Clipper, 70,82, 92, 630, two British 735s, an MF 815, and of course the big MF 38. Half of these were actually demonstrated by harvesting some wheat and oats which made a great spectacle for the public.

There was a wide range of Massey machinery, 27 items of harvesting and hay-making from old side-delivery reapers to binders, windrowers, rakes, mowers and balers. The 40 items of Massey implements includes ploughs, cultivating equipment, drills, and top dressers. (Most of these had been restored or at least had a new coat of paint, truly a great effort by vintage machinery enthusiasts from all over the South Island.)

To have as many as 14 Massey-Harris stationary engines gathered in one place at one time would also take some equaling in this country too. I never thought there were that many around. As for the 12 Massey and Massey-Harris bicycles displayed, that was a bigger surprise. These ranged from the early 1894 model right through to 1930 which were then made by the Canada Cycle and Motor Company but which still were carrying the Massey-Harris label on them. They were made up of ladies and gents models and there was also a racing bicycle.

Another two highlights were the models and memorabilia marquees with their fine displays. First of all, the memorabilia which included a great array of posters, book material, old advertising catalogues etc. all giving the history of the Massey-Harris, Ferguson, and Massey Ferguson eras. Some of this memorabilia came from as far away as Scotland and Canada, with our Scottish visitors John and Esther Caldwell supplying five lovely big posters on early Massey-Harris days. Another fine display here was from David and Shirley Boyle from Victoria, Australia, with their lA scale Massey Sunshine farm implements, all hand-made, and all true to scale.

In another marquee were hundreds of models from 1/16 scale down what a sight they were, and especially the revolving table of Massey models in a corner. In the centre of this Marquee there was a huge farm model display. An immense amount of work would have gone into this and I find it hard to describe in words how wonderful and comprehensive it was. Another big plus in this marquee was a traction engine and threshing mill made entirely of meccano [balsam], all to scale and measuring approximately four to six feet long and about two feet high. It was running all the time and driven by a little electric motor inside the engine.

Just at the end of this marquee, but outside, was another ever popular range of scale working models which comprised a McCormick WD 40 tractor, chaff-cutter, two hay presses (balers), a whare, and a scale threshing mill. One of the balers was busy over the three days keeping up with the making of little bales of hay which always found a ready market. It is only the second time in many years that it has baled over 1,000 bales at any one event.

All other makes of farm machinery were well represented with tractors, but not so much with implements. It had to be an all-makes rally so as to bring in a balance of exhibitors, a wider appeal to the public, more involvement from the whole vintage movement, and to include all the other colours of tractors which helps to keep the whole vintage tractor world alive and kicking.

Keeping to the catalogue order, the numbers of the various other makes were: 40 Allis Chalmers, 46 Case, 18 Caterpillar, 18 David Brown, 12 Ford-son, three Hart Parr, nine Oliver with four implements, 120 International with seven implements, 26 John Deere with eight implements, 38 Lanz, 11 Marshall, eight Minneapolis Moline, three Chamberlain, three McDonald Imperial, two Nuffield, two Yeoman Turner, two Bristol, two Hanomag, and one each A.D.N., Austin, Aveling Bar-ford, BMB President, Cockshutt, Dutra, HSCS, Newman, Peterbro, Ransome MG5, Renault, VAUGHAN ws, and Ruggles and Parsons.

Other makes of combines were one each of a McCormick No. 22, Claas S.P., John Deere 40, and an Oliver 15. Other makes of farm machinery and implements were Albion, Allis Chalmers, Andrews and Beaven, Bentall, Booth and Boothmac, Case, Cooper Duncan, P and D Duncan, Keetley, New Holland, Osborne, Rainsforth, Ransome, Reid and Gray, and Trapski.

There was a good line-up of vintage trucks including these makes: Austin, Chevrolet, Bedford, Dodge, Fargo, Ford, International, Plymouth, Morris, and a Ford Thames, making a total of 27. The nine vintage cars comprised: Austin, Bentley, Chevrolet, Ford, Overland and Plymouth.

Fourteen traction engines were catalogued but not sure if they all turned up., Anyway these old steam monsters add another dimension to any event, and it was great to have them. They were made up of one Aveling and Porter, four Burrell, four Fowler, four McLaren, and one Marshall.

There were also two little scale engines that were running around giving rides, these were a Burrell and an Allchin. Another of these little fellows was a Ransomes Simms and Jeffries complete with trailer which was auctioned but not sold.

There were many comments about the 150 stationary engines. What an interesting spectacle they were, including thirteen Anderson, five Associated, two Bentall, four Blackstone, six Briggs & Stratton, two B.S.A., one Brock-house, one Brook Marine, one Caldwell-Hallowell, two Campbell, two Clinton, one Continental, two Cooper, two Cushman Cub, two Fairbanks Morse, one Fuller & Johnson, one Gardner, one Heimrici (hot air), one Heco Simplex, one Hercules, two Hornsby, five International, four Iron Horse, two Iowa, two JAP, one Jacob-son, one John Deere, three Little Jumbo, one Kelly Lewis, one Kirby-Lawson, six Lister, one McCormick, two Mogul, two National, four Norman, one Nelson, four Petter, one Pitt, one Priestman, two Ronaldson Tippet, one Remmington, one Ruston Hornsby, one Sea Marine, one Simplicity, one Stewart Cooper, one Stew. Little Wonder, one Suffolk, one Titan, one Turner, one Twigg, one United, one Veechy Special, four Villiers, one Warwick, one Watt Brothers, one Witte, and three Wolseley.

Many of these were driving pumps or generators etc. Also there were many motor mowers, chain saws, old garden tractors, cream separators, and a big collection of hand tools. Other exhibits included household items, butter churns, clocks, oil cans, sewing machines, radios, and musical instruments.

Another example of diversification for this rally was a large collection of World War II military items and vehicles. These included jeeps (Willys), Dodge trucks, weapon carriers, Command cars, ambulances, Bren Gun carriers, and Quads built by Ford and General Motors.

In the middle of our 25 acre main display area was a circular ring where many tractor, machinery, and vehicle parades took place each day. The highlight here was the final parade of Masseys, where all the red and yellows which we could find drivers for traveled around the ring and finished by lining up in the middle. These were followed by Fergusons and Massey Fergusons and included many implements, machinery, and combines. It was an outstanding sight and a fitting tribute to one of the world's leading makers of farm machinery for the last 150 years.

Another interesting feature of this Massey parade, and one which gives it international importance, was that it was led by the little miniature Massey-Harris 55 tractor driven by John Caldwell, a Massey enthusiast from Kilmarnock in Scotland. This little tractor was built by Jim and Kelvin Ashworth just prior to the rally. Also at the head of this same parade was the little Massey-Harris Foal a half size Pony, driven and built by local contractor Dave Yates.

In ending this Expo rally report, I take the opportunity to mention about my '150 Years of Massey' book which will be available from July of this year. Originally it was to be launched at this rally but I decided to add a further chapter covering the two New Zealand Massey celebrations.

It is of A4 size and comprises six pages of Massey and Harris (prior to 1891), 80 pages of Massey-Harris, 15 pages of Ferguson, and 60 pages of Massey Ferguson. It will also feature approximately 30 pages of colourĀ  photography, and another five or six pages covering the New Zealand rallies. The price is NZ$50.00 plus postage and packing of NZ$13.50 for Canada and USA (International Economy Post).

Orders (with payment) to be made to: Derek Hubbard, 'Masseyville,' 49 Boston Avenue, Hornby, Christchurch 8004 New Zealand.