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Econ Vintage Museum

What started as a passion, quickly became an obsession

Jonathan Lupton, just like his Father, has always had a passion for farming, but it wasn’t until years after the agricultural business was sold, that he found an original Lupat Hedge Cutter sat in the yard in a fairly sorry state. He took about refurbishing it and managed to track down an original Massey Ferguson 35X which was typical of the era.

What started as a passion quickly became an obsession for the Econ team – making it their challenge to find and renovate a classic trimmer and tractor combination to mark each decade of the Econ production. The collection is stored in a museum at headquarters in Ripon, North Yorkshire and be viewed at any one of the shows that the team visit during the summer months.

Old Econ gritting truck

Vehicle appearance dates

Unfortunately, due to Covid-19 we were unable to attend any fairs or rallies this year, but why not come and visit us next year. We would love to see you at one of these 2021 events:

Events icon 2021 dates for the diary

  • June 2021 - Newby Hall Steam Fair
  • July 2021 - Masham Steam Fair
  • September 2021 - Hunton Steam Rally

Econ vintage vehicles through the years

1950’s

The world’s first side mounted hedger

This Agriquipment Hedge Cutter (fitted to the Massey Fergusson 35X) was the world’s first side mounted hedger/mower, manufactured and hand built in Otley in 1959 by Mr W.G.Lupton (Bill).  After a full day’s work on the farm, Bill learnt that once plated, welding could be done in the dark & this was how the company started.

Bill soon realised that a single arm arrangement would not work so went on to produce a twin-arm design and moved the arm to the left hand side of the tractor. This became the industry standard and was soon copied by his competitors, unfortunately as a 19 year old farmer’s son he didn’t understand the merits of patents!

Agriquipment hedge cutter - Econ vintage vehicle

Agriquipment hedge cutter

Lupat Verge Trimmer - Econ vintage vehicle

Lupat Verge Trimmer

1960’s

Left hand cut trimmer

The Agriquipment / Lupat Verge Trimmer, manufactured in Otley by W.G.Lupton in 1960 is fitted to the Fordson Super Major, built in 1962.  This hedger/mower is the first of three left hand cut, double-arm machines ever produced and was originally sold to J.F. Jossaume of Saffron-Walden who had a fleet of five machines in the 1960’s.

The one shown here was originally fitted to a Massey Ferguson 35 tractor but was extensively restored in 1996 and fitted to the Fordson Super Major. In 1961, the hedger/mower won the Silver Medal at the Royal Show in Cambridge for New Implement.

1960’s

Front cover material

The Ford 5000 Force was purchased from Shaun Lomas, a collector and restorer of vintage tractors himself, solely for the purpose of fitting the Hedgemaster MkI. Shaun purchased the tractor in 2010 and restored it over a period of 5 years and the finished tractor even made an appearance on the front cover of the Ford & Fordson magazine.

Econ will again sympathetically restore the tractor in the future but we are currently concentrating on the full restoration of the Econ Hedgemaster Mk1 and fitting it to the tractor. The hedger was purchased in November 2018 from Whites of Bocombra, Potadown, Co. Armagh and arrived fitted to an International 84 tractor which to say the least had seen better days. The tractor was sold at auction and the restoration of the hedger is now complete as the photos show.

Lupat Hedgemaker - Econ vintage vehicle

Lupat Hedgemaker

1970’s

Support for the local farmer

The Econ/Lupat Hedgemaker, manufactured in Ripon in 1976, fitted to the Ford (Pre-Force) which was manufactured in 1968. This particular Hedgemaker was originally sold through the local agricultural dealer Croft & Blackburn in Ripon in 1976 to the Kirby family of Bishop Thornton.

George Kirby used this hedger year after year accompanied by his trusty dog ‘Billy’, and in his later years supported by Econ kept the hedges and verges around his local area in pristine condition until his passing in October 2013. Econ then purchased the machine back from George’s son Rodney in 2015 and refurbished the unit with several of the Econ employees who originally produced the machine helping and mounted it onto this Ford tractor.

1980’s

A trusty vehicle through work and retirement

The David Brown 1490 – Hydrashift was manufactured in 1983, seen here fitted with the Econ Hedgemaster 2, manufactured in Ripon in 1983. This particular tractor/hedger combination was originally sold through MSF agricultural dealers to H.S Mumford of Wellesborough, Warwickshire in 1983. Econ purchased the unit from Graham Sutton in September 2016, Graham himself had operated the unit from 1985 while working for Henry Mumford and after his retirement bought the tractor/hedger from Henry to use on his small holding for nostalgic reasons. Econ then did a full nut and bolt restoration to both the tractor and hedgemaster and what you see today are the results of all our efforts.

 

David Brown 1490 Hedge Trimmer - Econ vintage vehicle

David Brown 1490 Hedge Trimmer

Old Econ service van - vintage vehicle

Econ service van

1980’s

The van of choice for Service Engineers

This Bedford CF Van, was  manufactured in 1986. This CF has only covered 16,000 miles since new with its last service stamp at 14,986 miles in July 1989. The van was originally sold by Border Garage of Welshpool, Powys and purchased by a dairy company as one of ten to be used as a delivery vehicle but unfortunately an oversight meant they were not ordered with the side door so were literally parked up with little or no use.

Econ purchased the van to add to its fleet of show vehicles as in the 1980’s Bedford CF vans where the van of choice for the mobile service engineers and the vehicle has had a full nut and bolt restoration from the ground up. All the parts are original and the first time it has had an MOT was in June this year as it had been parked up in dry store for more than 28 years!

1990’s

A chance phone call

The Ford 7810 Silver Jubilee, was manufactured in 1989. This tractor was purchased from the Paul Cable collection in May 2018 with the intention of mounting one of the final Econ HM3E Hedge Cutters produced at Econ in Ripon in 1997, and prior to selling the hedger business to McConnel.

The hedgers were purchased back from Peter Rideout Agricultural Services, Chettle, in June this year after a chance phone call and following conversation. Peter had two complete hedge cutters and various spare tanks and underframes in a hedge back which he had purchased with the intent of restoring one of them and fitting it to one of his own tractors as he used to run them in his business but work commitments never allowed this to happen so Econ purchased the bundle and restored the one seen on the tractor today.

Econ vintage pre-wet gritting truck

Mercedes-Benz 1717 4x4 Gritter

1990’s

Gritting legend

The Mercedes Benz 1717 4×4 was manufactured in 1993 and purchased by London Borough of Bromley environmental services to be fitted with the Econ gritter you see on it today and was used by them until 2005 when the vehicle came back to Econ’s Ripon factory for a full gritter refurbishment, it was then put back into service where it was still used as a front line gritter until a replacement model was sourced in 2016.

Econ part-exchanged the vehicle back in August 2016 to refurbish and add to our collection. Originally green the vehicle has undergone a full chassis and body refurbishment but this model has been replaced by the Mercedes 18 series 4×4 which you see following today fitted with the latest Pre-wet spreader combination.

Econ Extra

Products

Econ offer a wide range of winter and highway maintenance vehicles that are designed and built to suit your specific needs at our factory in Ripon.

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Contract Hire

Some customers prefer to hire their winter maintenance vehicles from Econ. One fixed fee gives you complete peace of mind as we take care of everything from scheduled maintenance to 24-hour breakdown and repair.

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Service & Spares

Our skilled service engineers can repair or service your Econ vehicles on site, or at one of our regional service hubs in Ripon, Alloa or Cardiff.

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Get in touch

Rather give us a call? +44 01765 605321


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