1954 Ferguson TEF-20


・Rare diesel model
・Fully restored, outstanding condition
・Very rare Automatic Functional hydraulic hitch and PTO

The Background

Designed by Harry Ferguson, the TE model was arguably the most important tractor in the world. Launched in 1946, this simple but ultimately rugged machine would become a vital tool in the world of farming and agriculture. Helped in no small part by the ‘Ferguson System’ consisting of a three-point hitch with an array of equipment to fit, such as ploughs and rollers. It was a revolutionary machine. Simple, dependable, reliable and user friendly. 

The TE was offered with all manner of different engines over the course of its life. Many were petrol, with engines provided by Standard. As the years rolled by, the TE was fitted with more features and functions, making it even more versatile. Many enthusiasts keenly state that this machine was a vital part of the redevelopment of post-war Britain, which is quite the accolade for a tractor!

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The History

The current owner is an avid enthusiast for all things agricultural, and has a number of tractors and associated equipment. He has owned this 1954 TEF-20 for some twenty years, and in that time has had it restored to a wonderful standard. While there is no escaping the fact this is an old machine, there is nothing to say it couldn’t be put to work. Everything is there, everything functions and everything is in good order. 

The is a very rare model, as it’s the short run TEF, which was fitted with a 2.1 Standard diesel engine with Ki-Gass starting system and hydraulic rear three-point hitch. It also benefits from a rear PTO (power take-off). It is a charming, characterful little thing that barks into life with ease and has a plucky chug as it’s driven. A time capsule on wheels, of how farming used to be.

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The Paperwork 

There isn’t a great deal of paperwork present, owing to the fact it’s not a vehicle for the road. Plus, with something like this, it’s the condition that speaks volumes. However, there are some magazines from the Ferguson Club, including some selected copy that advises how to go about getting the TEF-20 registered for the road. Happily, there is someone at the club who can assist with this.

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The Condition

As you can see, this Ferguson is in excellent order all round. It’s an interesting machine, in that in essence it’s nothing more than an engine bolted to a gearbox bolted to a rear differential, with a seat on top of the middle bit! There is no ‘body’ as such, just heavy cast housings for all the mechanicals. It’s a small, but stocky little thing. Function is most definitely first, here. 
The tractor has been fully restored though, which is great news. This means that everything has been repainted in period correct gloss grey. The seller tell us there is no corrosion to worry about, and all the nuts, bolts, fixings and pins are in good order and greaser where they need to be. The bonnet is in excellent condition, with the seller reporting no rust of corrosion. The same can be said for the massive rear arches/inner wings. 

The steering wheel is in fine fettle, and the ‘dash’ if you will has a gauge for fuel and one for amps. There is a push button for the starter, and there is a brass knob for the Ki-Gass system. Furthermore, there is a brass plaque underneath offering instructions on how to use said system. There is also a tin plaque with all the tractor’s particulars on it, including the chassis number. 

The tyres are all near new, and display no cracks or damage. The wheels are painted to a high gloss, the exhaust is painted white and is in fine fettle, too. If you were to transport this back to 1954, you could pass it off as being no more than a couple of years old. It’s that good.

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The Mechanics

Mechanically speaking, this old Fergie is in tip top condition. The owner isn’t sure how many hours it has under it, but he tells us that it’s moot, as it’s all been completely overhauled. As you can see from the pictures, the engine looks in fine fettle, with no leaks, no ‘quick’ fixes and no corrosion. 

The Ki-Gas system and decompression lever is interesting. It works by spraying a small amount of fuel vapour on, in the case of this diesel engine, the glow plug within the intake manifold. This system was designed to make starting easier, which paid dividends on those cold winter mornings! The owner showed us how it works, and Fergie chugged into life with ease. 

Once running, it idled happily. The cooling system is all in excellent order, and there was no smoke nor any worrying rattles. It’s a strong little unit. The TEF-20 is fitted with a four-speed manual (non-synchro) transmission, which functions as it should. As do the brakes, though it’s worth noting that only the rear wheels are braked. 

Finally, we have the three-point automatic hitch for implements and ploughing, which is hydraulically operated in the case of this machine. This is exceedingly rare, and ultimately allows the hitching of a trailer, without ever leaving the seat. The owner showed us the operation, and we can happily report that it does indeed function as it should. The action is smooth and unhindered. The same can be said of the rear PTO, which engages and disengages at the flick of a lever.

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The Appeal 

If you’re looking at this listing, you already know that there is a vibrant, passionate world out there full of people keen to show how farming not only used to be, but also how it has evolved. If you’re one of them, this tractor is just the ticket. Plus, the owner has a number of implements that can hook up to this, should you wish to buy one. You could have the tractor and the plough! This Ferguson tractor is perfect for cutting Golf courses, or working in a Poly Tunnel, and will still do a full days field work on the farm. As the seller tell us, "It's good for another 60 years!"

This TEF-20 is a key part of that story, arguably the most important thanks to the way in which popularise the ‘Ferguson Formula’. This particular example is a charming, beautifully restored display of a truly great machine. Ready to work, or ready to be used as a display, this little Fergie has years of life left in it. New tractors might be awash with technology, but as this TEF-20 proves, sometimes it’s rugged simplicity that’s best. 

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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1954
  • Make Ferguson
  • Model TEF - 20
  • Colour
  • Engine size
  • Location Devon
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
19 bids
  • Ca•••• £5,100 03/10/21
  • Lo•••• £5,000 26/09/21
  • Ca•••• £4,999 26/09/21
  • Lo•••• £4,900 26/09/21
  • Ca•••• £4,800 26/09/21
  • Lo•••• £4,700 26/09/21
  • Ca•••• £4,600 26/09/21
  • Lo•••• £4,500 26/09/21
  • Ca•••• £4,400 26/09/21
  • Lo•••• £4,300 26/09/21

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