Marshall McCarron’s “Green” Ferguson FE35

This isn’t a story about a con-course tractor with gleaming duco and everything meticulously re-stored to factory finish but that idea does play in my mind occasionally – to do it up as a tribute to the memory of Ian McLeish who many of us knew well, and his collection of immaculate Fergies.

It’s a story of my workhorse tractor that was originally bought in 1968 (more than 49 years ago!) at Rockdale Farm Machinery in Brisbane to use to slash scrub and bush under power lines as part of a contract my company at that time had with the government. Probably a 1958.  It used to be red body and grey petrol engine which would have been identical or similar to the Vanguard motors of the same era.

To my dismay one day we found that it had been caught in a bush fire overnight. The wheels and paint were all scorched and burned, one rear tyre was still smouldering and the electrics were ash. All wiring was gone! We hauled it back to the workshop on a truck and had a good look at it. Gave it some ‘new’ truck tyres on front and a replacement rear wheel, replaced all the electrics and decided to spray paint the body with one of those vacuum cleaner attachments that used to come with Electrolux in those days. What colour to use? Could have been yellow and black, my company’s colours but we found a can of green paint left over from somewhere so sprayed that all over the body – no prep, no cutting back, no undercoat just straight on with the vacuum cleaner spray gun. That’s why to this day it’s probably the only GREEN FE35 in existence.


The historic vehicle collection of Graham Bates


 The first vehicle that I owned was a Ford bought in 1959. It was a light green, second hand 1954 Ford Customline sedan. I bought it when I started working. I purchased my blue Ute, a 1954 Ford Main Line in 1988 from Barry Malony in Narrabundah ACT. I have a 1957 Ford Mainline I purchased from a man in a wrecking yard down at Charlton Victoria. I have a 1979 Ford Fairlane 500 which I purchased new from Ron Lawton Fords in Queanbeyan. I also purchased a brand new 1975 F100 Ford Ute from Morton Fords in Cooma and another purchase was a 2003 BA Fairlane sedan. This was a private purchase in Gunghalin ACT and I use it all the time. This one is my daily use.