A £1m vintage tractor collection, which includes some of Harry Ferguson’s earliest models, will go up for sale in April in Northern Ireland.

The collection of more than 100 classic tractors, plus associated equipment, has been amassed by John Flynn who has spent the past 40 years drawing together what is reputed to be one of the best collections in private hands.

“Over the past 40 years John Flynn has spent thousands of hours scouring the world spending tens-of-thousands of pounds to assemble this unique collection, in what became a life-long passion,” said Jonnie Keys, operations manager for Euro Auctions, which is handling the sale.

See also: Historic tractor collection sells for more than £500,000

“John has now decided to put everything up for sale, all as unreserved individual lots in a single day event.

“Whilst his interest in heritage tractors has not waned, increased business interests in Asia have resulted in him deciding to sell this vast collection. This means that some of the rarest and best examples will now become available for others to own, care for and so preserve for future generations to enjoy.”

Mr Flynn has spent his career working in the construction industry, but is understood to have developed a passion for tractors growing up on the family farm in the west of Ireland.

Among the tractors up for sale is a rare and highly collectible Ferguson Prototype that was found dry stored in barn in Co Wicklow in the 1980s and was a gift from Harry Ferguson to a former employee at the Banner Lane factory upon his retirement.

Ferguson-proto-type

It is believed the tractor is one of a small number built for test purposes in America in the early 1940s around the time of the split between Ferguson and Ford.

After the war these tractors were shipped to UK for field testing and from these designs came what is known as the legendry little grey Fergie.

Another rare specimen is a Ferguson Brown Type A which was bought new by a farmer called John Murphy in early 1938 to replace two horses.

Ferguson brown type

It has a unique place in history as there is a letter written in 1985 by the nephew of the late Mr Murphy which states that in July 1945, while the tractor was being used to pull a reaper, Harry Ferguson himself entered the field and asked permission to drive a few rounds with the tractor.

He apparently did so with great satisfaction of all present.

The collection also includes almost 30 Massey Ferguson tractors and some pristine examples of the German-built Allgaier tractors, which are powered by Porsche engines.

The sale will take place on 15 April from 10am at Euro Auctions’ Dromore site in Northern Ireland.

A Euro auctions catalogue of the sale is available (PDF). Bidders are required to pre-register if they intend to visit the sale in person although they can also bid online.