1985 ‘classic’ County sells for a massive £90,000

A County tractor – dating from 1985 – sold for £90,000 at an auction in England on Saturday (May 12).

The machine – a 1474 ‘Long Nose’ model – proved to be the most valuable lot at the sale. A total of 38 tractors went under the hammer on the day – all from enthusiast Paul Cable’s collection.

Image source: Tim Scrivener

This particular example (pictured) came with 16 original County front wafer weights. It was shod on Goodyear 20.8 R38 wheels and tyres all-round; 4,172 hours were showing on the clock.

The hammer price (£90,000) is subject to VAT and buyer’s commission (5%).

County Ford auction
Image source: Tim Scrivener

For the record, the earlier 1474 ‘Short Nose’ was developed by the original firm of County Commercial Cars Ltd, based at Fleet in Hampshire.

Launched at the 1978 Smithfield Show, it used the Ford 9700 skid-unit with a 153hp turbo-charged version of the 401S engine.

Within a year, the 1474 was up-rated to TW-20 specification with a larger flywheel, an oil cooler and a new twin-entry turbo-charger. It was fitted with the ‘F-type’ flat-deck version of Ford’s straddle Q-cab.

In 1982, the 1474 cost £20,597, which was a sizeable sum of money.

Few 1474s were sold in the UK; it is believed that the original company (which went into receivership in February 1983) built less than 40.

Under subsequent ownership (David Gittins), the 1474 was revamped to take advantage of the new Ford TW-25 skid-unit and launched in March 1983 (with its power upped to 163hp).

At the same time, the model was re-styled to match its more powerful 1884 sibling, with the same ‘Long Nose’ bonnet hiding the oil cooler and a larger fuel tank.

Rare beast

In 1987, County became part of the Benson Group; production was relocated to Knighton in Powys. Benson sold no more than three 1474s, while production of the tractor under David Gittins was also very limited.

Consequently, the ‘Long Nose’ version remains a rare beast. It is believed that only six examples are in existence.

Calling all bidders! Image source: Tim Scrivener