Although he was raised on a dairy farm, Ford enthusiast Doug Brewer completed a painting apprenticeship and spent 40 years, and still counting, working for himself.
“I’ve always lived on the land though and I’ve always had tractors,” says Doug.
“At one point we had 30 acres at Taupaki where we ran beef, and I had a 1947 Fordson E27N tractor for general farm work.”
Doug’s interest is American vehicles, with a strong leaning towards Fords. His collection has several Fordson tractors and Ford vehicles including a Ford Model T truck and a 1929 AA Truck in beautiful condition.
He is the proud owner of a 1920s Fordson Model F tractor. He thought it was made in 1920 but a friend looked up the serial number and it is likely to be from 1925.
“I acquired it in very bad condition from the North Shore Vintage Machinery Club. It had probably been donated to them. I know of three others in New Zealand, so they are quite rare.”
The F series was American made but most likely to have been imported via Canada. It was the first mass produced tractor sold at an affordable price around the world. It is credited with triggering an agricultural revolution.
“It’s a heavy tractor built with lots of solid cast iron. There’s no chassis as such, the gear box is bolted to the engine and the whole thing sits on the two axles.
“The petrol engine requires a crank start, with a black box on the side of the engine containing four wooden trembler coils and there’s a magneto on the flywheel.”
Doug always starts the tractor on the battery, using a 12 volt flick switch and the crank, but it can be started using the magneto.
The Fordson Model F tractor. Photo: Catherine Fry.
The front wheels are made of steel and the rear wheels are steel with cleats making it suitable for general farm work.
The 20hp engine has four cylinders, with three forward gear and one reverse. Doug has an original handbook for his machine.
“I took everything apart as it was all ceased and rusty. Someone cleaned it all up and I put everything back together and painted it, matching the colour to areas that still had paint on them. All the parts are original and can still be ordered from The Fordson House in Escanaba, Michigan.”
Doug would like to credit Dave Chowan who completed the engine and electrical work and got it all running.
A keen member of the Hauraki Vintage Machinery Club, Doug takes his Fordson Model F to shows and crank up days.