Hosted at the firm’s sale ground in Sutton, near Ely, on the 24th April, the auction grossed over £1.3m as this major event drew collectors and enthusiasts from across the UK along with overseas purchasers bidding online
The tractor section saw an 80 per cent sale rate of the 250 tractors entered, with later classic examples achieving some of the highest prices on the day. The top price paid was £40,736 for a 1979 County 1174 which was originally from Stansted Airport, had 705 hours on the clock, and was sold to a buyer from the West Country, this was followed by a 1989 Ford 7810 Silver Jubilee which sold for £31,088 and a well-presented 1974 Massey Ferguson 1200 which made for £25,728. In addition, a 1968 Roadless 115 made £19,296 and a 1988 Ford 7810 sold for £17,688. The post-war tractors also saw some strong prices, such as a 1952 Fordson E27N Major with a Selene 4WD conversion which made £16,112.
The commercial vehicle section also saw some strong bidding with one the last remaining J Lyons & Co tea lorries still in existence selling for £26,800. Built in 1927 and with only two owners from new, the lorry has been a multiple winner at the London to Brighton run and was sold to a private UK-based buyer. Similarly, a one owner from new 1957 Series 1 Land Rover, needing full restoration, sold for £16,616, and among the earlier examples, a 1909 Merryweather/Pope Hartford fire engine in need of renovation sold for £19,296 whilst a 1939 Marshall RC road roller made £23,369. And proving the appetite for the restoration market, a 1978 Volvo F86 tractor unit for spares sold for £11,148.
Of the 30 vintage motorcycles on offer, only two were left unsold. The leading lot in the motorcycle section was a 1952 499cc Vincent Comet which had been fully restored and sold for £17,280. This was followed by £11,340 for a AJS 7R based racer and £7,776 for a 1925 Douglas EW. In addition, two pre-war Norton restoration projects sold for £3,672 and £2,484 respectively.
The sale also included a series of unusual collectors’ items including an ex-Trinity Hall punt which was originally used by famous Cambridge punting company, Scudamores, before being sold to the college which made £3,290 and was sold to a private online bidder based in London.
Bill King, Chairman, Cheffins says: “This was an absolute belter of a sale, with a crowd of eager, lockdown-freed buyers bidding both online and at the sale ground. We saw buyers old and new from across the UK all flocking to Cheffins for a slice of normality on a sunny day, and with cash in the bank following lockdown, there was lively bidding across all sections of the auction.
“We can see from the results that the later classic tractors continue to be in vogue, with some heady prices paid for the best and most well-kept examples from the 1970s and 1980s. However, we did also have some particularly fantastic earlier tractors on offer, with an immaculate Fordson E27N ensuring that not all attention was on the modern classics.
“And in addition, lockdown clearly also fed the appetite of the two-wheeled fraternity with some serious prices paid within the motorcycle section, leaving only two examples unsold of the 30 on offer.
“It was heartening to see some level of normality back at the sale ground, with bidders back in force and keen for a day out. We were pleased that everyone adhered to the social distancing measures which were put in place and we were able to deliver a fantastic auction whilst still ensuring all of our buyers and staff were kept safe.
“We hope to continue to be able to offer live bidding at the Cheffins sales, as long as government guidelines allow, and are looking forward to welcoming people back for the July sale.”
The sale allowed traditional live bidding for tractors, vehicles and motorcycles, with other parts of the sale being offered as a timed online auction.
The next Cheffins Vintage sale will take place on the 24th July, at Cheffins Machinery Sale Ground, Sutton, Ely, CB6 2QT.