Geraldine Vintage Car & Machinery Museum, Geraldine, New Zealand

Not at all hi-tech and shiny but if you are interested in old farm tractors, British cars, an old 1920 Dennis Fire Engine with the solid rubber tyres, ploughs and tractor seat pans this is the place to be.

 W12 McCormick Deering 1936 with steel wheels with cleats. The W12 was grey until 1935 then it was painted Red. Serial number  WS 2068.  10.6hp. 1700rpm. 2900lbs. 16.07 belt hp. The smoke stack is missing. Most were manufactured with rubber tyres but some were put out on steel wheels. Farmers with steep paddocks wanted the steel wheels. The serial number was located underneath the petrol tank on the front support.  It was a tight space so took a photo of the serial number with a mobile phone.  Dating a tractor.

The museum at 178 Talbot Street, Geraldine 7930, NZ is staffed and maintained by a group of volunteers. It is much larger than it appears from the road with seven buildings filled with cars, tractors including agricultural crawler tractors and vintage farm machinery. The collection of tractors is in various degrees of restoration. It is organised and set up well for a self-tour. The museum closes at 4 pm daily mid September to Queen's birthday weekend in June. July and August weekends only. Admission in 2017 was $15 per adult and children free. Contact: the secretary [email protected]  Facebook. Old lawn mowers and old washing machines can be seen on this 10 minute walk through You tube and cars & tractors. Reviews. There is also a shed with stationary engines and chain saws. A Ford Model AA truck has been completely restored by the club in 2017.  In 2019 the museum had 56 cars and 125 tractors including a 1956 Fordson County Crawler. Annual crank up day is in November with a BBQ lunch and gold coin donation has been running for over twenty years.

The Geraldine Vintage Car & Machinery Club was established in 1967. A field day featuring both old and new machinery organised by the Geraldine Young Farmers' Club at Woodbury in 1966 indicated the amount of old machinery and equipment that was available in the district. In May the following year a club was formed with the objective of acquiring, restoring and displaying vintage farm machinery. In May 1968 a vintage machinery display in conjunction with the South Canterbury Traction Engine Club was held to raise funds. In 1969 Mr Jack L. Morrison, of Geraldine, a car salesman and private vintage car collector, purchased a section in the Geraldine township and built a vintage car museum to display his own cars and had offered the balance of the section and the buildings on it to the club. There was about an acre and a quarter of land. The section had been the site of the sawmill and coal and timber business of W.A. Sherratt and Company. Tractors formed a large proportion of the exhibits. The oldest was a two cylinder Universal built in Bedford, England. It belonged to Mr. F.W. Sercombe, a former farmer, who retired to Geraldine. The machine originally belonged to his father who bought it for 375 pounds. The Universal arrived in Timaru in September 1913 and was unpacked on the wharves and then driven by road to Geraldine. It was shown at the Christchurch Show that year. It was extensively used between 1913 and 1920. Another old tractor is a 1920 British Wallis. There are McCormick Deering reapers and binders. They were used in the days before the harvesters. There is also a horse drawn 6ft cut Sunshine. There is also an early linen flax puller given to the club by the Linen Flax Corporation. Local South Canterbury artist Wayne Patrick painted the John Deere and vehicle on the GVCMM walls.

The Geraldine Vintage Car & Machinery Club has about 100 active members. A dozen or so members meet each Tuesday in 2020, the Tuesday Club, to work on projects, to build enthusiasm, camaraderie, to play with machinery, to enjoy and even bring their own project, to bring ideas.

GM 2009 & 2019. It is fading.

1923 Delage painted forest green. Model DI. Originally purchased at Paris Motor Show by the Morrison family of Geraldine. In 1929 during a major flood the car was swept down the river but was rebuilt with a new body. It was later sold and passed through three owners before coming back to be part of the Morrison's Motor Museum and unfortunately burnt in the museum fire in 1979. In 1998 the full restoration was started by the present owner which included a complete new body and completed in Y2K. Morrison's Motor Museum was unfortunately seriously damaged by fire in 1979 and the museum was donated to The Geraldine Vintage Machinery Club. The club includes farmers and retired farmers, local business people, salesmen and mechanics and women.

Temuka Leader 21 April 1923 Page 3
Mr and Mrs R. Morrison, Mr Bruce Morrison and two younger children, left Geraldine yesterday en route for the old country. They expect to be away about six months. They purpose going via Panama and returning through the Suez Canal.

Press 19 July 1929 Page 13 GARAGE UNDERMINED.
Early yesterday morning damage estimated at £2500 was done to the stock and property owned by Morrison Bros., Geraldine, by the flooded waters of the Waihi river. The river gradually undermined the bank on which stood & large iron building which is used as a garage, workshop, and storehouse. The floor suddenly collapsed into the river, taking with it five motor-vehicles, together with a large quantity of tools and garage equipment. Several tons of coal stored in an adjoining building also disappeared. Three of the motor-vehicles—a new Morris Minor car, a truck, and a Delage touring car—were uninsured, and owned by Morrison Bros., and the remaining two were Morris Cowley motor-cars, the property of Messrs W. Williamson and G. N. Fielden, of Geraldine. Three of the care have been located at a spot about a mile and a half down the river, but it is impossible to estimate the extent to which they are damaged. The river is still undermining the bank, and half the width of the building for a distance of about two chains is suspended over the water. If the flood continues to rise the whole structure will collapse and be swept away. Residents of Raukapuka are compelled to make a detour over the main traffic bridge, as both the footbridges are impassable, one having been completely washed away, and the other being completely surrounded by water. The protective works which have been placed along the south bank have been unable to withstand the rush of water, with a result that the river has overflowed its banks and flooded the road and the surrounding fields.   

In 2017 included 101 tractors from 1912 and onwards including a Fordson Leopard Tractor c1930 and thirty vintage cars plus about 40 other cars but is also a repository for items of social history including a recreation of the interior of the Morrison's department store, the projection equipment from the Geraldine cinema, before it went digital. There is also a wooden horse from a steam driven merry-go-round.  Tractors include an early Allis Chalmers tractor, called the hen scratcher, with three steering wheels, one to change direction and two to control an ineffective grader blade. There is a 1913 Saunderson and Mills tractor built in England. It is probably one of the oldest working tractors in N.Z., it was purchased new by a Woodbury farmer. The steering system is stiff and involves endless turning of a level wheel on a rod linked to a cog. Its spark plugs are exposed. The museum also has a machine that turns No 8 wire into staples, another machine to show how knots are tied in a baler. There is an array of chainsaws and many household items such as grease guns, license plates. The collection of British cars from the 1950s to 1970s includes cars such as a Rover P5, Jaguars, Minis and even a Maxi and a Triumph Toledo. The Royal Daimler that spirited a young Queen Elizabeth II around New Zealand in 1953 on her first royal tour is here. A 1907 De Dion-Bouton which remains in untouched condition, the oldest car on display. There is also an Italian town car, a Bianchi, painted red, with a lovely bonnet ornament. There is also a Vauxhall Identification chart and a Bedford model Identification chart.

The Government first started a national registration in 1911 and every year vehicles got a new number plate, and the colour and symbol between the numbers changed each year.

Rarity is very regional with tractors.

The Massey-Harris 744PD was a British-built version of the 44. The 744 was fitted with a Perkins diesel engine 4.7.L 6-cyl in place of the Continental engine in the North American market. Manufactured between 1948 -1958.

Ford Ferguson TE. Weight 2500lbs. Horse Power 20.3. Continental Motor. First of the Ferguson System line of tractors built by Ferguson. Three speed box. The "Little Grey Fergie." Petrol. Gifted by North End Ford. It is missing its headlights. See another Fergie. The model name came from Tractor, England 20 horsepower. The TE range of Ferguson tractors were first manufactured in Coventry, England in 1946 in a huge disused factory which had been an aero engine plant during World War II.

Agricultural Crawler tractor 1928 Caterpillar Ten. Manufacturer: Caterpillar Factory: Peoria, Illinois, USA Total built: 4,929 between 1928 - 1932 Weight: 4,500lbs. [2041 kg]. Beside it is a 1932 Caterpillar Fifteen. Weight: 5,500lbs. (2494 kg). Gasoline. Original price $1,100 (1932). Caterpillar Twenty Two (1934 -1939). Fuel capacity 22 gallons. Weight 6,200lbs. Came in models 2F and IJ.

David Brown crawler tractor. David Brown Engineering Limited was an English engineering company. 

There is the late John Britten's gypsy caravan, on loan from the Brittan estate, rebuilt on the back of  an 1926 International truck chassis, an old American truck, between 1973 and 1975 by John when he was in his 20s. It is beautiful inside and out. All the cabin fittings are hand made including the stained glass window. The velvet chaise longue folds out into a bed. The copper califont heats the cabin and was used for cooking and boiling water. He travelled around the West Coast in it studying birds. John Britten, of motorcycle fame known for designing and building racing motorbikes. One of his bikes still held a record at Daytona for a 1000cc engine. John Britten was born 1 August 1950, in Christchurch and died 5 September 1995, in Christchurch at age 45.

 Preservation of history and passing along knowledge is vital elements of the club.

Cars, trucks and tractors all have a history. Some are handed down for multiple generations. They need to be kept running. It is not unusual for tractors to be are kept in use in the same farming district for donkey years. Vehicles need to be turned over, cranked up, once in a while as it stops the seals from drying out and leaking. Tires also dry out and crack if they aren't driven on. Reviving a vehicle is expense. Some museums crank up once a week, others once a year.

1896 Sterling shaft drive bicycle. Country of Origin: USA. A drive shaft cycle.

Mid 1950s N Zeta Motor Scooter donated by G. Scott, Geraldine.

1934 Triumph Gloria. Country of origin: England. Owned by the Geraldine Vintage CC, Geraldine. Registration: 36. 1087 cc. There were several versions of Triumph's early 30's sporty roadster type car. This one is much modified.

No. 31 Geraldine Transport. 1948 Fordson. Light truck. Country of Origin: England. Donated by X Geraldine Transport, Geraldine. Registration DR9126.

1926 Rugby. Manufactured by Durant Motors Ltd. Model: F. Owner: David Scoltock.

Twin City tractor with steel wheels.

The Lanz Bulldog was one of the most popular German tractors. The first Lanz Bulldog was imported into NZ in 1929.

The Austin Motor Company Limited was a British manufacturer,

There is also a 1929 Spartan ZK ABK hanging from the ceiling. It was used as an air taxi across the Cook Strait. ZK-ABZ.  

An early Massey Harris horse drawn sickle hay mower with a skid. The seat pan is missing. See the three holes where it bolts on. A wooden shaft is missing as well that should protrude out in front [to the left].


That is a 1928 Graham-Paige 835 behind the wheelbarrow. 120hp

1925 Harley Davidson hearse brought back to life. Country of origin: USA. That is a Villiers with the yellow tank.

Booth MacDonald Road grader. Country of Origin: NZ. Not running. The red grader is HamilLTon.

A medium threshing mill. Ransomes, Sims & Jefferies LD Engineers Ipswich England AM48 No 39400 Medium. In front of it is a Duncan Precision Seed Drill on loan from Ravensdown Fertilisers, previously used by the Dept. of Agriculture for trail plots. Maker: Massey Duncan. Model 9 Coulter Trail Plot Drill. Year 1947. Catalogue No. 337. 

Power steering, cushioned seat, wow what an upgrade from the Fergie. It was like driving a Cadillac.

Painted cast iron metal tractor seat pans are now a collector's item. The middle seat pan has The Syracuse highlighted in blue. Looks like the black and red seat pans had a bolt in the middle. The holes allowed rainwater to drain. A critical part of a tractor was the seat and over years it has been redeveloped with cushioning, backrests (height and width and curvature considered), wider dimensions and even vibration isolators and have gone from pain to pampered. Not only comfort but safety, control and looking backwards to observe had to be considered. Seats are now adjustable, to reach the pedals, as a certain amount of pressure is placed on the clutch. 

 Tractors have a pedigree. Where did it come from, who gave it to the club, the horsepower and everything else about it.

IH produced the Farmall tractor from 1923 until the last model rolled off the assembly line in the mid-1970s. The Farmall H was produced by International Harvester under the Farmall brand from 1939 to 1953 as a general purpose farm tractor. This one has a narrow front end. Approximately 390,000 produced over the 14-year run. The H is equipped with a 4-cylinder engine. The transmission contains six total gears: five forward and one reverse. It is a gem and a joy to drive. Dating your H. The tractor has the standard wide U shaped drawbar a plus if it also has the swinging drawbar which pivots along the U shaped drawbar. The tractor has a PTO (power take off). To engage it the tractor has to be running in neutral, push the clutch and then pull up on the rod sticking up behind the seat. It should click into place, and when you release the clutch pedal, the PTO shaft should start turning. Depress the clutch again and push the rod down, it should easily disengage. We would put a wide belt on  the belt pulley, with a crossed belt, with some grease, and run the cordwood bench saw for cutting up firewood. All the wood was already split in 4' lengths and stacked bedside the saw. The tractor out in front, saw bench in middle, wood shed behind and toss the wood in straight off the saw bench. Two people working. It wouldn't be long before we had the woodshed full. The one on the back we would attach the sickle hay mower. The GVCMM also have a Neuss built 1954 Farmall two cylinder diesel.

1920 Wallis British model K 15-25. Built by Ruston & Hornsby at Lincoln, England. Only around 400 Wallis tractors were ever made and less than a dozen remain, with this one being just one of two in New Zealand. It was restored some 30 years ago after being found derelict at Long Beach near Ashburton. 

First, we get them running, then we worry about cosmetics.

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Car restored.

Forum - Yesterday's Tractors Ploughing through the past.