A Labour of Love... 8799 PO Restoration by John Selley, Ferguson Club member


t was in early 2015 that I first saw an advert on The Ferguson Club website with 3 rather poor

pictures of a M-F 35 Petrol/TVO in a thousand bits. I looked at the advert several months running and one day I saw my wife’s car going up the drive and thought that would be a ‘safe’ time to make a phone call.

I ought to explain that my wife has very selective hearing which filters everything out which relates to food and her doing any cooking and is VERY finely honed to anything remotely associated with tractors, especially me buying!

I spoke with a very nice lady, Jackie, who told me that many years ago her late husband bought and began to restore this Massey Ferguson 35 but had not completed it, and neither she nor their son had any interest in finishing it off so it was for sale. We agreed a price! I do like a challenge, but I didn’t know what a challenge this would be!

The tractor was in Crawley, so two of my friends and I set off from

Bury St. Edmunds to collect it. They were able to load the ‘hulk’ with a Teleporter and we scrounged a very large wooden box for the remainder of the parts. I have to say at this point that when we were shown ‘the tractor’, Jackie said the bits are ‘all here’, flinging her arms wide apart to encompass this old chicken shed! So began ‘hunt the parts’. Several hours later we thought we had everything so left.

On arrival at my workshop, my yard tractor, an Internation 674, would just lift the hulk but not move, so we drove the trailer out from underneath and lowered the hulk onto axle stands to enable us to safely fit rear wheels and tow to where we would be working on it.

I promised Jackie I would tell her what I would name it, as all my tractors have names, and that was determined after I had laid out, on the floor, all the mechanical parts and photographed them followed by the tin work. It was obvious to me that this was going to one heck of a job, a real ‘Labour of Love’.

We discovered that although we had all these parts we didn’t have a carburetter, a Zenith 28G, and these are just like hens teeth! I got one from a breaker and one from a private seller but still couldn’t make one half decent unit. I was despairing and must have come over like that when I phoned Burlen, specialist carburetter people, and success, they had a new

bottom and a top which just had a water stain, for just £50, hurray!

We had piles of paperwork which gave us an idea as to what had been done and, because of much trouble we had experienced with a TED 20 and not being able to get the liners to seal, we stripped the engine to enable us to fit the liners correctly.

4 MARCH/APRIL 2020 call 01295 404099 to advertise or email

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