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Vilhelm has sent in some photos from Sweden of his father’s FE35, which he is intending to restore and bring back to its former glory. It’s an FE35, 23C engine and serial number SDM28837.
This serial number would date the tractor to 1957, and would also mean it should be painted bronze and grey. The bronze (or gold) and grey tractors were produced up until serial no. 74655.
Vilhelm would like to know what people think…
- Has it been repainted at some time in its life?
- When he restores the tractor, what colour should he paint it?
- What about the cab? Anyone know what type it is? When would it have been fitted? What colour shoud it be?
Let’s Take A Look At The Tractor
As you can see from the photos below, it’s going to make an good restoration project. The loader, the cab, the lights – all make for something quite interesting. The extension mudguards – seemingly home made, and good for safety – but should they remain or should they be removed?
The second photograph is the most interesting to Vintage Tractor Engineer. It is clear to see that the ID plate has got red paint oversprayed onto the edges. This must be a good indication that the tractor has been re-painted. Do you agree or disagree?
VTE has seen many tractors with replaced dash panels. The replacement (second hand) panels have often been fitted with the serial number plate still attached from the donor tractor – making identification difficult. In Vilhelm’s case though, we clearly have an ID plate with a serial number of a bronze/grey tractor. The dash panel also does look to be in keeping with the rest of the tractor.
It is difficult to see from the photos, but the paint on the rest of the tractor does appear to be flaking – resprayed rather than original?
We look forward to hearing your opinions.
I am Graham from New Zealand. I have just purchased a FE35 with transmission plate date of 24.7.57 and
Chassis number appears to be 51608 although 1 or 2 of the digits are not clear. Body colour is grey with plenty of gold showing through. Panel work is red with no sign of grey underneath. Panels appear orginal or are rough enough to be.
Bruce Kirkman on 1/4/2015 offered two Web sites with details and photos of a similar tractor. Unfortunately the first reference does not still exist.
Can anyone assist with photos or Web. adress for a gold/red/grey FE35. Or details of such.
Hi. I think I have the opposite problem on my 35. MF or FE I’m really unsure. I’m in Northern Ireland and presume the tractor has been here from new. MY chassis number is SDM146854 and this and the various engine/gearbox/axle numbers date it to mid 1959. It is double clutch and 4 cylinder diesel. The tractor is a very old and worn red and grey, however the bonnet has holes from metal badges, not stickers as MF35 would have and push button bonnet top release buttons as earlier versions had. Later ones have turn catches.
It has been suggested that I have the complete front tinwork of an earlier gold belly that’s been painted red.
I recently saw another 35 exactly the same as mine for sale on eBay in Wiltshire in England. Maybe there was a period of time when gold belly were gradually being changed to red and grey but surely not as late as 1959?
Good morning folks
I know this is rather late but I do know of 2 1957 FE35’s that are painted Red Gold one owner has photos when the tractor was delivered new, I’m just trying to find d the correct paint colours for a 1958 TVO 35 with a front Ferguson badge I think this should be Old MF35 (not as bright as the later Super Red) and Flint Grey metalic but that looks too silver can anyone help RAL codes would help also
I am the owner of the tractor and I would like to thank you all for your comments. The history behind this tractor is that my father bought some land and the tractor came with it, this was some 20-years ago. I.e. we have really never used it, only started it a couple of times during these years. As most of you suggest I will most likely repaint it in its original colour. btw in Sweden this model is called ” Guldkalv “= The golden calf. It would be great if anyone can share the colour code for the grey and bronze.
Again, thank you all for your comments and please wish me good luck with restoring my little buddy.
A few other people have kindly written in. Here are some of their comments…
I have the same tractor working now on my farm. It was also overpainted red. It should be grey and gold. You canbsee on mine where the red paint has worn through it is grey/gold. Jeff, Canada.
Tractor should be bronze and grey
Bronze best done in 2 pack paint as it comes up better and the finish is more durable
My FE35 pictured is a standard FE 35 petrol made 1957. The trailer is a MF 17-7
Going by the bucket seat and rev counter I`d bet his tractor has the 2 stage clutch ergo a de luxe version
The red and Stoneleigh grey came out about 1958 when the name Harris was dropped.
The grey/gold badges are available but expensive and some only come plain without the gold finish.
Try Dunlop tractor spares in Northern ireland.
The best there ever was. The best thing you can do is to paint your Ferguson in the gold/grey colour.
If it is an FE then you need to do it. These were the last Ferguson tractors. Regards from Germany.
I’m no expert on the intricacies of colours for different markets around the world, but I can tell you the panels on this tractor HAVE been repainted at some stage…. as you can see the new paint has gone over on to the ID/build plate.
As for the original colour? Well start scraping the red away and see what’s there. I bet you the old paint was never stripped properly before painting… remember it was a working tractor on a farm, not a rare & valuable car! Good luck and enjoy it the way you think you’d like it best.
We live in Australia and now have 2 fe35’s. These are great tractors. Both are 1959 models and both are red and grey. The earliest one has the bronze showing through grey. I think they constructed these tractors in Australia from whatever parts were available at the time. I would repaint in red and grey. Happy Restore.
Red/grey or grey/gold or even red/gold/grey?
I live in the UK. My tractor is definitely a FE35 (3 horizontal holes in the front of the bonnet and 2 either side for the Ferguson badges), though one of the last made. It’s currently red/grey but that will soon change. The main serial number has gone but the engine plate shows it was made on 30th August 1957.
Though the comments above are correct (lots of dealers painted the grey gold tractors red & grey and so did a few owners to make everybody think they had the latest model) a handful of tractors were apparently painted red and gold with grey wheels etc. and I believe that mine is one of those. There is definitely gold paint underneath the grey (try taking off a few nuts to see what colour is under the paint that chips off) but there’s no evidence of any grey paint on any of the tinwork.
If yours is or should be grey/gold you should keep it that way. You’ll have a rarer & more valuable (if that matters) tractor than the red/grey MF35.
Here are links to some pics of the red/gold/grey FE35. It doesn’t look that great but I’d like to return mine to its original colours so that’s what it’s likely to be.
Which color to choose for the restauration ? Well Vilhelm it depends on your goal.
If you plan to put it in a museum as a collectible then you should stick to the factory color.
If you want to give him a new life at work then I would suggest the iconic red color. It’s nice, shiny, and everybody likes it.
Hi , my fe35 is red and flint metallic grey , chassis No SDM 102146
is badged Ferguson, first reg in kent at lenfield enginering.
never been anything else but red and grey.
I know that this tractor may have been other colors to start, but it was your Dads and you want to bring it back Im sure in part because of that. I woild put it back to how it was when he got it.
I restored one like it last year, an 1959 FE35 23C diesel. I did sleeves and pistons and anything it needed. When it came to painting I had the same problem. There are numerous colors.
I when with the red and grey. It looks nice. I live in Canada.
I think the tractor was built in England. If you get back to me I will send you some pictures.
My fe35 is also red and grey, and the original gold can be seen through the paint on the chassis. It was common practice in Ireland at the time to “modernise” the fe to look like the new MF. Such a pity, the grey/gold is far nicer. I intend restoring her at some stage, and when I get around to it I’m going back to original colours.
Hi I have a FE 35 Grey & Bronze, I was of the opinion that when MF took over the Fergys that they changed the motor to a Perkins and the colour to red & gray, the tractor shown has the Standard Vanguard diesel motor just like mine
I live in Australia and all the red and grey FE35’s I have seen with serial numbers below 74655 all have the bronze paint showing through. The story in Australia in that the grey and gold were repainted red and grey and rebadged by the dealers so they could be sold as a MF35. The FE35 grey and gold were with dealers when the MF35 red and grey was released and they had trouble selling them
I think it has been resprayed. In New Zealand it is not uncommon to find all types of machinery and vehicles which were built years before the date they are registered. Often the build spec is for Europe, Asia etc. The manufacturer would often send all the old stock as the market here was small. My MF675 is an example of this. If this 35 was new old stock it may have been resprayed by the dealer to make it look like a new model as the original paint would date it from several years earlier. Sweden may have got old stock from the factory while larger markets got the new ones.
I have a similarly painted one in Finland, I believe that mine was old stock and painted red and grey in order to look like a ’59 model. Mine still has traces of the original paint underneath and was registered in ’59.