What's your favourite tractor? From the South Pole to Bollywood, Coventry celebrates mud and glory

By Culture24 Reporter | 31 March 2016

Not every museum has room for a tractor. Coventry Transport Museum will welcome dozens this summer, including one which made it all the way to the South Pole

An old photo of an industrial tractor from an exhibition at coventry transport museum
© Courtesy Coventry Transport Museum
This is the Women’s Land Army harvesting beetroot using a Fordson tractor - a key tool for the war effort during the early 1940s

In Coventry, 2016 is the year of the tractor. Curators say they will immortalise the vehicles as “mud and glory” heroes on the road to past manufacturing and global dominance.

An old photo of an industrial tractor from an exhibition at coventry transport museum
© fieldmarshalltractors.com
The Field Marshall tractor was made from the 1930’s onwards but was known for its more dated appearance and engine start up

They’re showing the surprising spread of the tractor: a musical celebration will be called Fields of Joy, and the use of the tractor across the Indian sub-continent and in Bollywood films will be recognised.

An old photo of an industrial tractor from an exhibition at coventry transport museum
© Courtesy Massey Ferguson
Antarctica 2 was the first wheeled tractor to reach the South Pole overland, breaking a world record in 2014

Perhaps the highlight will be a midsummer procession of 70 tractors between Millennium Place and the Transport Museum. Its ranks include the Little Grey Fergie and the MF 5610 – a build champion enough to have conquered Antarctica and made it to the South Pole.

An old photo of an industrial tractor from an exhibition at coventry transport museum
© Courtesy Massey Ferguson
This beauty - the MF4707 Global Series tractor - is designed for "more challenging" conditions overseas

Gary Hall, of Culture Coventry, points out the “pulling power and romantic appeal” of tractors. “Without the tractor, the UK would not have become the agricultural powerhouse that it became, and without Coventry the story would have been very different," he says.

  • Tractors: From Factory to Field is at Coventry Transport Museum from March 26 - September 19 2016. Visit the exhibition online for full details of what's on.

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