Brewis Newland, 68, was born and bred on a Pirongia dairy farm, but his family moved to 100 acres in Otorohanga in 1961. The Newlands had a Fordson Major E27N tractor while Brewis was growing up and he loved the distinctive Ford tractor blue as a child.
He used to make wooden tractors, and remembers driving the Major from as early as 10 years old, pulling the silage trailer as his father fed out. In 1968 his father encouraged 17-year-old Brewis not to farm, but to do a mechanic apprenticeship at Birch Motors in Otorohanga.
After qualifying, Brewis went back to dairy farming and sharemilked for a 13-year period. He returned to the world of engines and oil, and spent 23 years with Giltraps of Otorohanga.
Since 2004 he’s collected five Ford tractors of his own. One of his favourites is a 1970 Ford 3000.
Brewis was working at Birch Motors when this particular tractor was sold from new, and he serviced and maintained it regularly throughout his years as a mechanic.
In 2013, when the 3000 became surplus to requirement, the owner approached Brewis to buy it. “I drove it home that very day,” says Brewis. “It was in original condition but good order, just a couple of oil leaks.”
Brewis stripped the three-cylinder, 45hp machine back completely, and replaced some of the parts with aftermarket parts. It was repainted with the traditional Ford tractor blue for the bodywork, and Ford tractor grey for the wheels.
This particular 3000 had been factory fitted with dual wheels, which was quite unusual in 1970. “It helps with traction and stability,” says Brewis.
“This particular tractor pulled a three tonne silage trailer for contractors during the summer.”
Another feature was the factory-fitted cab around the driver. “It was known as a bonzer cab and was one of the first types that were used as safety frames.”
It is quite fitting that Brewis and a tractor he has maintained all its life should end up retiring together. The 3000 lives with four other restored Fords in a four-bay shed on Brewis’ property.
Retired life is pretty active, as the pair enjoy regular trekking with friends at the Otorohanga Vintage Machinery Club Inc, which has a strong membership of around 100 enthusiasts and collectors.
The Ford 3000 is also brought out for the Otorohanga Christmas Parade each year.