Kevin fires up on fourth labour of love

Kevin fires up on fourth labour of love


Machinery
Retired Northampton farmer Kevin Chisolm aboard his Fordson Perkins tractor, which he restored to working condition earlier this year. It took him two years of part-time labour to complete the job.

Retired Northampton farmer Kevin Chisolm aboard his Fordson Perkins tractor, which he restored to working condition earlier this year. It took him two years of part-time labour to complete the job.

Aa

When retired Northampton farmer Kevin Chisolm handed over the farm operations to his son-in-law Barry Marshall and daughter Michelle, about seven years ago, a latent urge emerged to restore the farm's first tractor, a Fordson Kero E27N Major, manufactured in England between 1945 and 1952.

Aa

IT'S the old story concerning a labour of love.

When retired Northampton farmer Kevin Chisolm handed over the farm operations to his son-in-law Barry Marshall and daughter Michelle, about seven years ago, a latent urge emerged to restore the farm's first tractor, a Fordson Kero E27N Major, manufactured in England between 1945 and 1952.

Last month he unveiled his latest and fourth restoration, a Fordson Perkins tractor, which he found on the farm about 40 kilometres north of the homestead.

"The Perkins motor was completely seized," Mr Chisolm said.

"I found it under a wattle tree and there was water in the engine.

"When I took the head off the motor, the pistons were full of diesel so I started chipping away working on it, trying to get some movement with the pistons and almost every day I would try to turn the motor over.

"Eventually I got some movement and I knew I was on my way.

"I got parts from looking over the internet, I got the injectors and injector pump done locally, I managed to get a new set of rings and I had the cylinders honed out.

"Once everything was in place I got it going and it runs like a beauty now.

"It took me two years to fix it up and that's because I had a shoulder replacement."

Getting back to the Fordson Kero, Mr Chisolm "found it" about eight kilometres south of the homestead under a bush and decided six years ago to restore it to its former glory.

The Fordson Kero followed on from the original Fordson tractor.

The new model allowed for a PTO and a hydraulic lift and, for the first time, Fordson owners could purchase a tractor from a dealer fully equipped with three-point linkage, power take-off, full electrics and an adjustable-width front axle for row crop farming.

"It had been there for 40 years and I decided to clean it up and getting it going again," Mr Chisolm said.

"My dad bought it in 1948 and it was the farm's main tractor doing the land clearing, ploughing, seeding and pulling the header.

"I drove it as a teenager and when we were clearing native trees you would have two tractors working together pulling a wire rope to get the job done."

The Kero model was so named because it ran on kerosene and its Perkins engine developed 34 kilowatts (45 horsepower).

Kevin donated the faithfully restored Fordson to the Northampton Motor Museum to ensure its history was in good hands.

With that project finalised, it took him only two years to find another tractor to restore, the farm's Chamberlain C670, made by Chamberlain Industries in Welshpool between 1970 and 1975.

It was one of the Champion Series models and featured a six cylinder Perkins diesel engine developing 52kW (70hp).

"I bought it second-hand in 1983 as a front-end loader and I found out it was originally owned by Sir Eric Smart and later his son Peter,'' Kevin said.

"You could tell by the drawbar which was well worn that it had done plenty of work.

"I restored it and it's still going today, mainly for front-end loader work and towing field bins, so it's still a handy tractor."

Three years ago Kevin decided to have a crack at the farm's old Fordson Farm Major, his third restoration project.

This featured a four cylinder Ford diesel motor, with electric start, which developed 31kW (42hp) and was built between 1959 and 1962.

Mr Chisolm is already onto his next project helping out his neighbour to restore a Caterpillar Tractivator.

"It's equivalent to a D4 model, with a bucket, and we're hoping to fire it up next week," he said.

Aa

From the front page

Sponsored by