During the early spring of 2013 a phone call to a well known combine breaker resulted in a conversation about a 860 for sale in lincolnshire a long standing customer who had ran Masseys for many years but was now trading up to a newer machine with increased acreage.
What made this story interesting was the combine was in first class working order it had received a full dealer inspection and service every season and never wanted for anything, also this combine had a 6 cylinder perkins not the usual v8 ! plus it was the uprated 85 series that carried the latest modifications of this range before the end of combine production at Brantford.
Very few 800 series came over to the uk with the 6 cylinder although it was an available option from Massey at that time.
What we do know is this combine was the second one to be built on the Brantford production line after the christmas shutdown in January 1985.
What made this purchase difficult was we had at that time a very good useable 750 that had given us good service and also at the time we did not cut a big acreage, but on conversation with the 860 owner and subsequent details regarding the engine on the 860 that for some strange reason suffered total failure about 4 years previously the owner made the decision to have it fully reconditioned by the local MF dealer, also the 16 ft Dronningbourg table had also received new belts new rollers and shaft bearings.
What we do know is the first owner of this combine from new was a farming company in Market Rasen called Lawson and Clark who bought the combine new on the 21/7/1987 one of two 860s purchased at this time from Peacock and Binnington and ran the combines for 12 years also we have been told by John Lawson at that time this was the very last 860 sold in the uk! And probably Europe, so this makes the ownership of this particular 800 series combine a little bit special!!.
Also as we are collectors of these classic combines the chance to own the last model series genuine Massey combine pretty well made the decision for us, the deal was done the combine which had spent its working life in lincolnshire was now heading to somerset for smaller fields and reduced acreage.
During our two years of ownership we have had 100% reliability we have restored the air con system sprayed the silver grain tanks this year replaced two belts and generally kept the combine in a ready to go condition.
The combine is a pleasure to operate, it gives a good sample and does a clean job we currently cut for someone who has operated their own combines for over 40 years and he wouldnt have any different and rightly so!!
Our 750 went to the breakers sadly as a buyer could not be found but at least it will keep other classics operating for the foreseeable future.