Tractors pull a crowd at Longford

A group of visitors examine the vintage tractors on-display

The Sale Vintage Tractor Club is celebrating one of the best turnouts ever to their annual long-weekend event.

The 38th Vintage Tractor Pull was held at the Longford Recreation Reserve on Sunday, March 13, with hundreds of visitors attending the event.

Over 120 tractors were on display at the Reserve, most of which partook in the power-pulling competition throughout the day.

Member of the Sale Vintage Tractor Club, Steve Harley was among those who participated, bringing two tractors to the event: a restored 1938 Massey-Harris Pacemaker, and a 1950 Massey-Harris 744.

The latter vehicle brings with it an interesting history, having been purchased by Steve and his father Graeme from a South Australian property that was razed the 2015 Adelaide Hills bushfires.

A vintage tractor takes part in the power-pulling competition // Photo: Tom Parry

“The shed it was in was a little wooden shed, and it was the only building on the whole farm that didn’t burn to the ground,” Mr Harley said.

“So it was very lucky to survive, and the owners – as part of the insurance settlement and whatnot – they basically needed to sell what they had left, so we managed to pick it up.”

Mr Harley said that the event had a good turnout on the day.

“This is probably as good as it ever gets, so we’re pretty happy with that,” he said.

A selection of vintage machinery was also available for viewing on the day, including a 1913 Marshall traction engine owned by the Heyfield Engine Club’s Mick Coleman.

The steam-powered road locomotive is one of seven owned by Mr Coleman, who purchased this particular example from a previous owner in Geelong.

Mick Coleman with sons Asthon, Lachlan and Tom standing with “Rosie” // Photo: Tom Parry

“I’ve restored it mechanically, but it is still in all its original livery,” Mr Coleman said.

“It’s still got all its original pinstripes on it, and it’s one of the most original engines left in the world.”

Mr Coleman also praised the turnout at the event.

“I’ve been coming here 30 years, and it’s definitely one of the biggest turnouts they’ve ever had,” he said.

In addition to the displays of vintage tractors and machinery, attendees were also treated to a selection of cars from Gippsland Vehicle Collection, and a woodturning demonstration stall from the Gippsland Woodcraft Group.

Those wanting more information about the event can head to the official Facebook page.

Travis Jankovic with his 1954 Ronaldson Bros. & Tippett engine // Photo: Tom Parry