From the outside, the Case Maxxum didn’t look that inspiring, writes FWi features editor, David Cousins. OK, it had neat, slabby sides and a sort of Yorkie-bar chunkiness. But you suspected it was the tractor equivalent of a Ford Mondeo – worthy, but oh so boring.

But then we had a 5140 on hire one autumn and I realised I’d got it all wrong. Here was a tractor that seemed genuinely new from the ground up, rather than a re-skin of the model before.

Take the interior. Most tractors at that time looked as if the dials and controls had been positioned by a drunk bloke in the dark. The Maxxum, on the other hand, had a positively futuristic dash, with lots of LCD displays, all logically arranged. It wasn’t quite the flight deck of the Millennium Falcon, but you felt someone had given a bit of thought to what the driver wanted.

This clean ‘n’ simple philosophy applied to the gearbox, too. The Maxxum had the standard no-nonsense 16×16 gearbox with four powershift steps in each range and a ground-breaking clutchless forward/backwards shuttle.

And, boy, was the 5140 good at shuttling. Some tractors of the time had such a lag that you could get out of the cab, have a pee and be back in again before the tractor changed direction.

But the Case had the reflexes of a Wild West gunslinger. Lift the plough. Clunk, you were in reverse. Clunk, you were in forward. Lower the plough and you’re off again, baddies and acres in your wake.

What do you reckon? – The Case Maxxum can probably already be classified as a ‘Classic’ but is the tractor you drive a classic in the making? Click here to nominate your ‘Future Classics’