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|Purchase of a Fordson Major Diesel|
About half a year ago now, I became interested in Vintage tractors having done quite a bit of clearing work with a David Brown 950. After many talks with my friend who the tractor belonged to I began to gather an image of the tractors that were available. After reading and hearing about the Fordson major I was astonished to find that there were many around the area that I live. So chats with my friend continued and he started telling me about people who had them who were selling them. They were all in working order, but still in need of restoration. All of the ones my friend mentioned were within 7 miles of my house so things were looking up. However with the purchase of Golf equipment and Jobs becoming scarce I was in need of money. After a few phone calls I managed, with determination to own a tractor, to get a job and the money started coming in. Fordsons were mentioned and sold before I managed to even get a look at them. But there was still one major problem, and that was the Parent factor. Pulling up the drive in a 3. 6 litre machine with 36 inch rims and then saying, Hi Mum and Dad, look what I bought wasnt going to be the best idea. They already knew I had a great interest in Tractors so after mnay subtle hints I sort of got them to start liking the idea. Then came the tractor right next to my friend which was a David Brown 30D. I planned to buy this and sell it in practically straight away to gte the money for a Fordson (it was going cheap) but I got there and it had already been sold. However that very night my very good friend rung up a mate who had a Fordson Major for sale and we went to see it that night. The moment I saw it I knew I wanted it and I agreed to buy it. After many cycle rides to the bank to put in money and take it out I managed to get anough money so that I could take it home and pay the rest later. I told Mum and Dad and after a bit of time they eventually agreed, just after I had actually bought it. When my friend and I got there we tried to jump start it but there wasnt enough power being put through. So we decided to pull start it. We took it onto a field, I jumped into a truck and we pulled it along the field. All I remember then is hearing another mate sitting next to me saying, shes going and I turned round to see an exhaust spitting out black smoke. In my excitement I stalled the truck and jumped off to have a look. It was wonderful, it sounded gorgeous, no bad knockings. I got on and had a drive round the field, and after the old exhaust pipe snapped and fell right next to me, I stopped and my friend snapped it off and got me a new one. I took it to a farm as we didnt have the space at home and the farmer very kindly agreed to keep it there for a while free of charge. So there came many bike rides to see it with friends from the village, from other villages and even one from Germnay. After all the road tax, insurance and registration through a tractor club had been completed and a shed was cleared at home, it arrived home. Now with every possible bit of pride I have I look at it at home as I work on it. Ok it needs lights, re-wiring, new filters, bits for the linkage at the rear, a front tyre and a pair of matching rear tyres, a rear rim reconditioning and the spindle bushes and extendable exles seeing too (quite a bit of play) but its basically sound. Of course, when its completely operational again and all the brakes work, as one of them doesnt too well. (I had the unfortunate experience of finding that out on a hill when it stopped because the lift pump gauze was blocked and it started rolling backwards) Thanks to another very good friends advice and assistance, I now have a clean tank, fuel line and gauze, stop button works, the Rocker box gasket has been pushed back in and I have 2 rear working lights and 10 gallons of new Diesel. Many thanks go to him and a huge amount of thanks go to my good Friend Nick who helped me through thick and thin with this and with everything to do with life. Many many thanks go to my parents for putting up with me and clearing out the shed she sits in at the moment. Thanks also go to Dad for lending me tools and showing and helping me to do many things and learn about the concepts of things and also the purchase of an original instruction manual and many phone calls to help me get an age related plate which I eventually got. Great thanks also go to Barry Wendy and Amy next door for their enthusiasm and advice and many long chats with popcorn and beer about Lizzie and things im planning to do with her. As with the reasons I bought her, I wanted to learn how to maintain engines and vehicles and a vintage tractor seemed a good place to start. But the main reason is that vintage tractors have so much character and I am constantly in awe of how they are, their power and what they can do. It has also sparked off a great interest around the area I live and many people have talked to me about their days on the Fordsons which have been incredibly interesting and have given me more and more aspiration to see it completely done up. Some have even given me tools for it from when they worked with them, and thanks go to those people too. I would also like to thank Bear, the man from which it was purchased for helping me find bits and pieces for it for very cheap. As for my friends opinons, most of my college mates think its a bit of a joke but they just dont understand the thrill of driving something like that and restoring it and at the end when its all done I can say, I did that. My Fordson Major Diesel is called Lizzie and I am hoping to take her to the Wanteston Hall rally, power from the past, in September. Hope to see you then.
Patrick Arnould, UK, entered 2001-07-17
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