Phillip Warren's extraordinary private collection of 83 Ford tractors saw very strong trade in Beaworthy last Saturday (September 4).

The sale at Middlecott Farm by Kivells was the dispersal of one of the largest single manufacturer private collections to come to the market for decades.

All 83 tractors were manufactured by Ford and there are only a limited number of models, namely 35 Ford 4000s, 31 Ford 3000s, 10 Ford 5000s plus Ford 7810 4wd (4500hrs), Ford 655 Special (full spec, only 1806hrs) and four Ford 5000 tractors in kit form.

South West Farmer: An extraordinary collectionAn extraordinary collection

Trade was very strong, with a top price of £25,000 for the Ford 7810, followed by the final lot of the day being the Ford 7000 Schindler at £21,000 and the Ford 655 digger at £12,500.

Other prices on the day for Ford 3000, 4000 and 5000s ranged between £2,000 and £5,100.

Phillip, 77, is an avid collector, restorer and tinkerer who started buying and retaining tractors in 1989 and confesses to having "an extreme hobby gone out of control".

His first purchase was of a Ford 5000 Select-O-Speed and, being impressed with the Ford Selecta, he focused on and acquired many more Ford tractors, with his collection totalling an impressive 83.

Phillip said: “David and his team have done a wonderful job, which I am very grateful for, and I wanted to thank all of the people that came along and made this a day to remember for the rest of my life.

"From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

"I have enormously enjoyed collecting, restoring and tinkering my tractors and hope the successful bidders at this sale will benefit in the same way I have for so many years.”

Kivells director, David Kivell has known the collector all of his working career, some 35 years.

He said: “It has been a pleasure to work with Phillip. He has been very loyal to our business for the 35 years I have been in the trade and very kindly instructed us with this sale, and I’ve really enjoyed it.

"When preparing for the sale back in June I attended Middlecott Farm to photograph the individual tractors and witness his grandson turning up from London and making the observation “Grandpa, I knew you had a passion but didn’t realise it was an obsession!”.

"Many of you will know Phillip from attending so many of our machinery sales over the years both on farm and monthly in Holsworthy to realise it’s not an obsession but an “extreme hobby gone out of control!”

"His passion for this hobby has made him extremely knowledgeable on this range of tractor.”