Giant collector’s item: What did this beast fetch at auction?

This 1986 Ford FW-60 ‘Automatic’ (pictured above) featured at a noteworthy auction in England last Saturday (May 12).

Also Read: Video: Meet the man who is selling 38 Ford and Ford-derived ‘classics’

Bearing the serial number 10287, the auctioneer (UK-based Cheffins) described it as “the ultimate big boy’s toy”.

Showing 5,584 hours, this (325hp) example came with a rear three-point linkage, a drawbar and a front weight-block. It was shod on 30.5 R32 wheels/tyres.

It sold for £29,500 (no VAT) plus 5% buyer’s commission.

A spokesperson for the auctioneer added: “It is a powerful predator – an impressive beast that just keeps on pulling.

In the operator’s seat, it feels as if you are driving a medium-sized house. The buzz of being behind the wheel of a 325hp monster is not easily forgotten.

The FW-60 ‘Automatic’ was the final and most powerful incarnation of Ford’s FW range of articulated giants, which were built in the US by Steiger of North Dakota.

There were four models in Ford’s original FW series, launched in 1977, but only the FW-30 and the FW-60 were brought into the UK.

The early FWs had Cummins V8 engines and a five-speed manual transmission – mated to Steiger’s two-speed ‘power divider’ to deliver 10F 2R speeds.

The original FW range went out of production in 1982. In May 1984, the FW-60 was re-launched following a considerable face-lift and significant changes to the specification.

The new model was based on the Steiger Panther Series lV and had a six-cylinder Cummins 855 engine delivering 325hp. The tractor had sharper styling, with rectangular headlamps and subtle changes to the livery.

An Allison five-speed automatic gearbox was offered as an optional extra from 1985.

Hefty price-tag

Most of the last FW-60s supplied to the UK were automatic models, but few were sold. The barrier to sales was the hefty £70,000 price-tag.

After Steiger was acquired by Case IH in 1986, Ford heavily discounted the model – sometimes by as much as 50% – to move unsold stocks (as the market for articulated giants went into decline).

The 1986 Ford FW-60 featured here is one of only a handful of survivors in the UK.