While pretty much everyone is aware that Ford has a long, rich history of producing automobiles, some may not be aware that The Blue Oval has also built other things in its century-plus in existence – even planes. However, Ford tractors are also an important piece of the company’s history, inspired by Henry Ford’s upbringing on his father’s farm back in the 1800s. Even after forming Ford Motor Company in 1903, the company’s founder continued to pursue his passion for tractors, eventually leading to the creation of the Fordson line. Today, Ford tractors are still a common sight on farms and in museums or private hands, including – interestingly enough – in the impressive collection of a South African farmer named Gerhard Fouche.
Ford tractors have a long and rich history in South Africa, as the Neave Assembly plant that built those particular pieces of farm equipment originally began operating in Gqeberha back in 1948. At that time, it was the largest roofed factory in the country, but perhaps more importantly, it was the site where The Blue Oval produced a long line of notable automobiles including the Ford Fairlane, Zephyr, Zodiac, Anglia, Prefect, Consul, Escort, Granada, and Capri. However, in addition to passenger cars, the Neave plant also built FoMoCo’s lineup of Thames and Louisville trucks, as well as the Fordson Major diesel tractors.
As for Fouche, he’s been cultivating maize, wheat, and soya beans on his farm – dubbed “Eden,” which sits in between the towns of Clocolan and Marquard – for more than 30 years now. However, Fouche is also a Ford fanatic, one who fell in love with the company’s tractors many years ago due to their affordability, along with the fact that they’re reliable and easy to work on. In fact, Fouche once tried out a tractor from another brand, but immediately went back to his trusty old Blue Oval models.
Unfortunately, for Fouche, The Blue Oval doesn’t make this type of farm equipment anymore, which is now his biggest disappointment, humorously enough. Regardless, he’s still holding onto his impressive collection, and those models have proven that they’re more than capable of standing up to the abuse they’ve endured over the past three decades.