'It was a labour of love': Waterford man on his stunning restoration of a Massey 135
It took three nights a week for three months, but every minute spent restoring a Massey 135 was a labour of love
'There's a quiet satisfaction in taking something old, assessing the damage and then working on it to bring back its original beauty," says Jamie Casey, standing in front of his shining, newly-restored Massey Ferguson 135 tractor.
Jamie took the 1973-registered MF tractor with 9,600 hours on the clock under his wing a few months ago, and the result is all the more impressive given that this is the young Waterford man's first tractor restoration project.
Incredibly, more than 340,000 MF 135 tractors were built between 1964 and 1978.
The enduring love affair of the Irish farming public with the 135 is such that working examples can still be seen on farms nationwide. A lot of it boils down to this simple little tractor's mechanical reliability.
The most challenging aspect of this 135's restoration was rebuilding the cab. The old cab was stripped back to just four corner pillars, including the old flexi cab that comprised of a flexible canvas roof with perspex side windows.
Jamie spent two to three hours for three nights a week on the project. This went on for about 12 weeks. With a natural flair for engineering Jamie was also able to call on the skills he uses in his day job as a full-time design engineer with Hi-Spec Engineering of Carlow.
The tractor was stripped down to just the chassis, engine and four cab pillars, with everything else gone. Anything that could be removed was, before being cleaned down and reinstated or replaced.
All steel parts were cleaned back, primed and painted. "It's a labour of love," smiled Jamie when asked how he managed to find the time. "To pay someone to put those hours in wouldn't have been worth it, but to watch the tractor slowly come together brings a sense of achievement."