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113-year-old tractor ploughs on in Australia

0 CommentsPrint E-mail CNTV, November 9, 2010
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It's survived more than a century, a journey from Europe and countless harvests - now one of the world's oldest tractors has been restored in Australia.

The historic 1897 Hornsby-Akroyd oil tractor has one of the earliest internal combustion engines and was only one of three ever made.

One of the tractors is in the UK, another vanished, and the third has now been rescued from a farm in New South Wales and lovingly restored in Australia.

Tractor enthusiast, Eric Howle, took up the challenge of rebuilding the historic vehicle two years ago.

It took him around five months to piece the tractor together, and restore it to working condition. He says he would make it a national treasure.

Eric Howle, Tractor Enthusiast, said, "It's one of the oldest tractors in the world, and the rarest, because the parts were built in 1897 and they were not assembled until later in the century and that tractor was on the market about 1900."

But the world's oldest tractor is no easy ride.

Eric Howle, Tractor Enthusiast, said, "It has no electric ignition. You heat a hot plate and that detonates the fuel, given a few other things that go along with, it such as the flash point in the fuel, the compression ratio and whatever, they are very temperamental, they fire anything from 30 degrees Celsius before tip bit center up until top bit center and they do create a problem."

Richard Hornsby & Sons, an engine manufacturer operating in Britain from 1828 to 1918, first produced the Hornsby-Akroyd oil tractor. The company pioneered the oil engine that later won a medal at the Royal Agricultural Society of England.

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