A tractor for trekking

Stu Cox with his 1965 Fordson 3000 Model X. Photo: Catherine Fry.

Stu Cox was brought up on a dairy farm and as a young man tried farming for three years to find “the money just wasn’t there for a young fella!”

The vintage tractor enthusiast turned his attention to truck driving and has “pretty much covered New Zealand” during his career.

Having always worked either around or driving machinery, Stu has always had an interest in it. When he semi-retired he joined the Otorohanga Vintage Machinery Club, even though he didn’t have a tractor himself.

“I used to go on their tractor treks with my four-wheel drive ute,” says Stu.

He found a suitable tractor in 2019, after a friend saw one sitting in a paddock and enquired about it.

“It had been there a while and the owner was going to put it in a hole! My friend rescued it and got it up and running before I bought it from him.”

The 1965 Ford 300 Model X has a diesel, three cylinder engine delivering 45 HP, with a 10 speed gear box consisting of eight forward and two reverse gears.

“It would have been used as a general agricultural tractor. It wasn’t 100 percent but with a hand, the motor and hydraulics were tidied up.”

Stu really enjoys that side of the club, “if there’s something I can’t do, there will always be someone happy to help”.

He is a patient man, waiting for all the mechanics to be finished, including some modifications to the clutch, before tackling the body work.

Currently the nose cone isn’t correct for the Model X and was only put on so there was something to hang the radiator from. Stu has his ear to the ground and his eyes peeled, hoping to locate one.

He can then sandblast and paint the whole tractor himself and refresh what he describes as a temporary rescue paint job to cover the “slight patina” the tractor arrived with.

“You can get many parts for the Ford 3000 as New Zealand still imports them from the UK. Anything I can’t get, such as the front axle pin, I got an engineer to lathe one for me. It’s definitely a labour of love rather than a money making venture!”

Photo: Stu won the 2022 Otorohanga Vintage Machinery Club mounted plough section. Photo: Catherine Fry.

Stu and his Ford 3000 have already been on a few treks, and he looks forward to more.

Despite farming not being his career, Stu won the Otorohanga Vintage Machinery Club mounted plough section last year. He proudly showed off his shiny trophy and you can be assured that he will fiercely defend the title again, hoping to hang onto the trophy!


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