Winning addition to fleet

GREAT CAUSE: Andrew Quigley won the Massey Ferguson gold belly tractor in a raffle.
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Andrew Quigley didn’t need another tractor, he already has about 50.

But when the Quigley Contracting operator won a refurbished Massey Ferguson FE35 gold belly as first prize in a Wheat and Wheels raffle, he was chuffed.

He comes from a family passionate about Massey Fergusons, and the 35 horsepower $4000 gold belly is a sought-after classic from the 1950s.

‘‘I’m obviously very stoked to win the tractor,’’ Quigley said.

‘‘You never expect when you buy a ticket, you don’t even think about the winning side, you just do it because it’s the cause,’’ Quigley said.

Quigley bought extra raffle tickets, altogether spending $50, when he found out the recipient of funds raised would be Canterbury West Coast Air Rescue Trust.

Rally chairman Anthony Hampton said the raffle was so popular all 2000 tickets had sold. Buyers were from as far afield as Canada, Ireland, Australia and the United Kingdom.

Second and third prizes of 1/16th limited edition Farmall cub collectable toys were won by Ethan Register of Rakaia, and Mike Clifford of Killarney, Ireland, respectively.

The gold belly was refurbished by Mid Canterbury Vintage Machinery Club members, who staged the popular Wheat and Wheels rally.

Quigley said the new addition to his fleet will be used for promotion at shows and displays.

His dad David, who was ‘‘pretty passionate’’ about Masseys, had offered to keep it under cover and maintained.

He had said to David he was going to take the gold belly to his contracting yard.

‘‘And he said ‘No, no I’ll look after it’. He’s put dibs on it,’’ Quigley said.

IN THE DRIVING SEAT: Raffle tractor winner Andrew Quigley with (from left) Mid Canterbury Vintage Machinery Club president John Stewart and members Ross Worner and Anthony Hampton.

Quigley Contracting already has about 17 Masseys in its fleet of about 50 tractors.

The new gold belly won in the Mid Canterbury Vintage Machinery Club’s Wheat and Wheels rally raffle will take special place, Andrew Quigley said.

But it was unlikely to have the Quigley Contracting branding.

‘‘I don’t know if I want to brand it. I’d like to brand it, but I don’t really want to do it to the paint work,’’ he said.

A love of Masseys was in his blood.

‘‘My family, when I grew up, we had a 35, 135, 165, 188, 1100, 1105 we had quite a few Masseys. Dad is pretty passionate about the Masseys,’’ Quigley said.

‘‘It was the first tractor that he’d driven (although) it was a later one than this one.’’

Meanwhile, funds raised from the raffle are still to be tallied.

Quigley said he had had his own experiences with the fundraising recipient of Canterbury West Coast Air Rescue Trust, having been in a rescue helicopter.

‘‘We had an operator, many years ago, lose his hand in one of our machines.

‘‘I went with him to the hospital that night,’’ Quigley said.

‘‘We’ve had other things happen over time.

‘‘We sponsor a fair bit of money to it as well,’’ he said.

‘‘You hope you are never going to need it, but we’re very grateful for what they do.’’