World’s Best Tractor Collector

A man on a tractor is an iconic image that will be forever linked to modern agriculture. For farmer and avid collector Bill Shanley his love affair with the machines led to him being crowned the World’s Best Tractor Collector by National Geographic in 2014. Source: ABC Rural

Mr Shanley said he caught the bug when he drove his first tractor on his farm at Bunyan just outside of Cooma in southern New South Wales.

“The first one I got was the same one as what we bought back in 1958,” he said.

“It was a little International Farmaway; they were in produced in opposition to the little Australian Fergie.”

It wasn’t long before the hobby morphed into an obsession.

While other tractor collectors have bigger and more expensive collections, Mr Shanley was awarded world champion due to a number of rare machines.

I think we’ve got four or five tractors that would be the only ones in Australia he said.

When pressed on his favourite tractor among the almost 140, Mr Shanley picked the latest addition, due to arrive from the US.

“At the moment it’s the one I’ve ordered in America; when it arrives it’ll be the favourite.

“It is an 1950s Oliver with a Detroit GM engine in it, which weren’t available in Australia.”

Each tractor, dotted around Mr Shanley’s property, would be worth between $1000 and $20,000.