The little tractor that could

Few classic pieces of machinery are more worthy of rescuing from a slow death than the Ferguson tractor - especially one with the work history of this little beast.

Neville Madsen's lovingly restored 1955 Fergie looks an absolute treat, thanks in no small part to the six months of hard yakka that he put in to get it back to its former glory.

Many moons ago, before he picked the old girl up from a friend's farm in Redbank Plains, this particular tractor played a role in the post 1974 flood clean-up in Ipswich.

A few years later, Nev's friend of 40 years, Des Price, bought the Fergie from a property in One Mile, driving it home at the earth-shattering top speed of 15kmh to his property at Redbank Plains, where it would provide reliable service for the next few decades.

Mr Price put the old tractor out to pasture in 2007, when it started showing a few signs of age, and it was replaced with another Fergie.

Showing just how tough these old things are, the tractor stayed out in the weather for the next eight years, slowly rusting away before Nev finally got the itch to salvage it.

"I went to Scotland a few years ago to see my wife's cousin, and the chap next door had an old Fergie," Mr Madsen said.

"Seeing it totally reignited my passion for them - I loved them as a kid.

"I got talking to Des one day about how I was looking for one and Des mentioned the one he had sitting around on his property."

Far from being a lost cause, the old Fergie, despite looking a bit sad, was in surprisingly good nick.

The Massey-Harris-Ferguson TED 20 tractor as it was found. Mr Madsen plans to take the newly refurbished Fergie (above) on the country show circuit.
The Massey-Harris-Ferguson TED 20 tractor as it was found. Mr Madsen plans to take the newly refurbished Fergie (above) on the country show circuit. Contributed

Mr Madsen was able to complete the rebuild using almost all of the original machine, bar the new tyres, some of the ignition parts, the exhaust, the lights, and a generous lick of paint.

Fergie parts are still extremely easy to find, with many enthusiasts keeping suppliers busy.

"When I picked up the radiator the guy in the shop told me it was the third Ferguson tractor radiator they had delivered that week," Mr Madsen said.

Mr Madsen spent many hours rebuilding the tractor in his Collingwood Park garage, taking it from rusted farm wreck to a little rustic charmer that's enough to get any classic machinery lover salivating.

When it turned over first go, it gave Mr Madsen a smile ten miles wide.

"We heard him over in Redbank Plains," Mr Price said of his friend's excitement at firing up the Fergie after the rebuild.

"Now that Nev has got it looking so nice I think I want it back again."

Mr Price might have a hard time convincing his friend to part ways with the old Fergie.

"I spent about $7000 working on it but they've told me you can get about $10,000 for a fully restored one like this," Mr Madsen said.

"To me they are priceless."

Mr Madsen plans to take the Fergie on the country show circuit.

Topics:  ferguson tractor general-seniors-news restoration

Mayor backs parents in fight to solve youth violence

POLICE PRIORITY: Mayor Jack Dempsey said the police should be the first port of call for people who saw or experiencing physical or verbal assaults.

But victims told they must report crimes to police

Detective says murder most complex he's investigated

VICTIM: Gary John Ryan was murdered on August 23.

Five people now charged over gruesome killing

Three Rs with a difference during Day for Daniel

DAY FOR DANIEL: St Mary's Catholic Primary School students, including Ella Belluz, Oliver Boge, Ava Gardiner and Damon Broughton, will dress in red today.

Students across region to wear red today

Local Partners

A Bundy West prep teacher prepares to bid farewell

BUNDABERG West Prep teacher Heather Robinson is an icon who will be sadly missed as she retires at the end of this year.

Foot stomping, eclectic gig coming to Bucca

GIG: 8 Ball Aitken will play at Bucca Hotel this weekend.

Blues artist plays at Bucca Hotel

WATCH: NASA space station is live, see the view from above

In this picture taken from NASA's International Space Station from April 2015, the SpaceX Dragon is captured with the 57.7-foot-long Canadarm2 robotic arm before its installation to the Harmony module.

See the world from a new perspective as space station passes Rocky

Queensland's oldest pipe band needs your support

ALL THINGS CELTIC: The Bundaberg Caledonian Pipe Band is coming to the Moncrieff.

"Keep Bundaberg's Scottish band entertaining for many more years”

MacBook fires up: New "touchbar" will include emojis

COULD emojis help the MacBook again deliver a laptop revolution?

Angus T. Jones got miserable on Two and a Half Men

Child star's misery while shooting 'Two and a Half Men'

Bachelorette shock: "This isn't how it's supposed to go!"

Georgia Love pictured in a scene from The Bachelorette finale.

GEORGIA chooses Lee and leaves Matty J heartbroken.

Radio presenter's shocking joke about Dreamworld victims

Images from the scene after four people died on a ride at Dreamworld at the Gold Coast

Radio host taken off air after tactless Dreamworld joke

The Bachelorette fans rally around devastated Matty J

The Bachelorette runner-up Matty Johnson.

CALLS for reality dating show's runner-up to be the next Bachelor.

The Bachelorette finale: Georgia declares her love for Lee

Georgia Love with The Bachelorette winner Lee Elliott.

MATTY J left heartbroken in emotional grand final.

Want to own one of Australia's best restaurants?

TOP GONG: Mooloolaba Spice Bar has been named in TripAdvisor's Top 10 Australian restaurants for 2016.

Here's your chance to pick up one of the Coast's favourite eateries

Drop in rental vacancies for Bundaberg

ALL OVER: The decline was across the state.

Encouraging signs for market

6 houses in Gympie under $200,000

$170, 000, 9 Norman St, Gympie

These Gympie houses are perfect for investors or first home-buyers

Tough times in CBD: Woolies says goodbye Ipswich

Woolworths in the Ipswich Mall.Photo: Rob Williams / The Queensland Times

The last day of trading will be January 1

Look at me! Kath and Kim home up for sale

Kath and Kim from the iconic Aussie TV series.

'Crack open the Baileys and grab a box of BBQ Shapes'

How to fit 100,000 new homes on the Coast

Property, real estate, housing, suburb,  August 2016

Fitting 2m extra people in south-east Qld in 25 years a balance