A record £210,112 (€245,362) was paid for a 1983 County 1474 Short Nose at Cheffins’ most recent auction last Saturday (3 July) in Sheering, near Bishop’s Stortford in Essex.
The County 1474 was one of a number of Fords sold on the day by the East Anglia-based auctioneer as part of the Shrubbs Farm Collection in Essex.
The rare example Short Nose 1474 with its original bodywork showing 4,802 hours on the clock reportedly has only clocked up 100 hours in the past 25 years.
According to Cheffins director Oliver Godfrey, a total of over 90 classic and vintage tractors went under the hammer on the day
The tractor had a pre-sale guide price ranging between £60,000 and £70,000.
The final sum paid by the new owner is believed to be the second-highest price paid for classic or vintage tractor to date. It was purchased by a UK-based collector.
According to Cheffins director Oliver Godfrey, a total of over 90 classic and vintage tractors went under the hammer on the day.
The collection was dubbed by Godfrey as one of the country’s most genuine and original collections of Ford and Ford conversion tractors including Doe, County and Roadless. It was owned by the Liddell family, who have been collecting machines for the past 35 years.
The 1474 was purchased secondhand by the Liddells in 1993 and was employed to pull a five-furrow Dowdeswell plough for a period before later entering early retirement when a Ford 8830 (also sold at the auction) entered the fleet.
Other highlights from Saturday’s sale included a 1966 Northrop 5004/6 selling for £79,864 (€93,262), while £49,312 (€57,585) was paid for a 1965 Doe-130. A 1989 Ford 7810 Silver Jubilee also sold for £45,024 (€52,577).
Brief 1474 history
The Short Nose version of the 1471 County was first launched at the Smithfield show in 1978 by the original firm County Commercial Cars Ltd. It was based on the Ford 9700 skid unit with a 153hp turbocharged engine.
Within a year of its launch, the 1474 was up-rated to TW-20 specification which brought about a larger flywheel, an oil cooler and a new twin-entry turbocharger. It was also fitted with the F-type flat-deck version of Ford’s Q-cab. In 1982, the County 1474 had a new buying price of £20,597 (€24,052), which was considered a substantial price at the time.
It is believed fewer than 40 units were built by the original company before going into receivership in early 1983. When the manufacturer returned under new ownership as County Tractors Ltd, the 1474 took advantage of the TW-25 skid unit. Launching in 1983, models were given a power boost to 163hp and a restyling and Long Nose to match its larger sibling, the 1884 model.