The latest Cambridge vintage and classic sale held by Cheffins on April 21 and 22, 2023 saw a large number of lots going under the hammer with collectors spending over £2 million (€2.26 million) in total.

The sale was not confined to tractors, it covered a whole range of vehicles and memorabilia including cars, motorcycles and what the auctioneers now term petroliana, which apparently are the old pyramid cans, tin signs etc., from the early days of motoring.

John Deere tops the chart

In total, there were over 300 vintage and classic tractors offered, with the highest price of the day being that of a 2001 John Deere 7810 which sold for £45,500, to a collector in the UK.

John Deere 7810 classic
The Waterloo made 7810s were hardy tractors built to last

This was followed by a 1980s Ford 7810 ‘Silver Jubilee’ which achieved £32,500, while a 1964 Roadless Ploughmaster 6/4 fetched £31,000.

Older tractors were also in demand, a 1918 Avery 8-16 made £29,000, reflecting an interest from those collectors who are looking to the earlier history of farm mechanisation rather than sentimental attachment to the tractors of their youth.

Avery vintage tractor
A good collection of vintage tractors will chart the efforts of machinery pioneers such as Avery

Yet, such machines do still attract a lot of interest although it does depend a great deal on the condition. On the day, a 1975 Ford 7000 brought in £29,500 while a 1971 John Deere 3120 made £16,000.

Classic workers

Although these are now considered collectors items at 89hp and 86hp respectively, they are still capable of helping out around a modern farm, adding to the joy of owning one. Running them will also keep the engine in good fettle.

Also among the off-road vehicles was a 2005 Argo Avenger 8X8 UTV. These are the skid steer buggies that will pretty much go anywhere, even across water.

Clarkson buggy
The Aurora is the latest eight-wheeled buggy from Argo

With such a fun factor involved, there is little surprise that Tv presenter turned farmer, Jeremy Clarkson had bought this example when new, and there is obviously some value in such provenance for it fetched, £5,500 (€6,200), rather than the estimate of just £2,000.

Oliver Godfrey, Head of the Machinery Division, Cheffins, said: “The April Vintage auction really kicks off the start of the season for many collectors and vintage enthusiasts.

“The sale saw over 142,000 views online ahead of the auction, and we had hundreds of buyers in attendance from across the continent.

“Over 75% of the classic and vintage tractors offered sold on the day all for premium prices.”