Nation full of tractor treasures

JACQUIE WEBBY
Last updated 09:55 17/02/2014
john wilson

CLASSIC MEMORIES: John Wilson enjoys the feel of a John Deere tractor.

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John Wilson may have seen vintage tractors up and down New Zealand, but says he "has barely scratched the surface" when it comes to the total number tucked away in sheds and garages.

He was born in Timaru, but his family shifted to Christchurch when he was 8.

His first tractor recollections were as "a city kid" holidaying with relatives on their Hawke's Bay farm in the 1950s.

Interest in tractors, to the extent of writing three books on the subject, came later, he said. He wrote to every vintage tractor club in New Zealand to find out what lay behind hedges and in garages and sheds.

"I had some great co-operation and was able to compile a list of possibles for the latest book, which was very long, so we had to chop it down to fit in with the planned itinerary," he said.

One of the tractors on his wish list was the McCormack Deering 06. "I had read about this make and model in overseas publications, but I didn't know whether any were in New Zealand.

"Then, at one place I visited, the owner opened a shed door and there it was."

He describes his book, Tractor Nation, as a "fascinating voyage of discovery".

For this former Timaru man who now lives in Arthur's Pass, his tractor wish list is nearly complete, although he says there is always room for another treasure or two.

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- The Timaru Herald

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