What’s got one cylinder, two gears and is worth about $200,000?
A 113-year-old steam tractor has proven to be one of the star attractions at the 2022 Lower Murray Vintage Machinery Show in Murray Bridge.
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Some people potter about in the garden, some paint, some fish or play a sport – but not Simon Huntington.
His hobby, ever since his 50th birthday, has been restoring and touring with this 1909 Fowler steam tractor.
Powered by the heat from a wood fire, it has a single-cylinder engine, a two-speed gearbox, and a top speed of about five kilometres per hour.
It’s also heavy enough to leave a dent in most roads, including the bitumen trail around Murray Bridge Showground.
He brought it up from Mount Compass for the Lower Murray Vintage Machinery Show over the weekend, where it proved to be one of the star attractions.
“An agricultural traction engine, you’d call it,” he said.
“It takes about three hours to steam up and eight hours to clean up when you’ve finished playing.”
Play he did on Saturday and Sunday, even taking part in a tractor pull with some much younger machines.
Some of the exhibitors were on the young side, too, including Murray Bridge’s Lyam Marshall, the son of one of the event’s organisers.
He showed engines like this 12-horsepower Tangye to the hundreds of visitors who passed through.
Looking after old machines was fun, he said – he loved the grease, the oil, the smells.
His dad Jayme said exhibitors had come from as far away as New South Wales, the Riverland and the Yorke Peninsula for the show, the biggest annual event of the Lower Murray Vintage Engine and Machinery Club.