Home Featured Vehicles General Info Park Over

Massey-Harris No 7 Cylinder Hay Loader

Raking Width 6 feet, Maximum elevation 10 feet 6 inches.

A light, strong, easy-running loader that does a fine job of elevating from the windrow and with the capacity to handle heavy crops. Deck can be adjusted to deliver the hay just where it is convenient to build a big, substantial load. Sturdy in construction yet light in weight, the Massey Harris No. 7 Hayloader is light draft and easily handled by the team.

This interesting addition to the display was retrieved from the banks of the Oroua river at the end of Armadale Road, Cheltenham early in 2008.  Once again we are in appreciation of the great job of restoration Brian Schnell has achieved with this rare item of hay making equipment from the horse-drawn era.  This loader can be hitched to a high or low wagon without making any special adjustments and is uncoupled by simply pulling a rope.


John Deere 1946 ½ Tonne Chevrolet Pickup Truck

‘Old JD’ is a stunning example of a restored 1946 Chevrolet Pick-Up Truck. This vehicle is part of the Crawshaw Collection and was restored by Ferg Crawshaw, a farmer from Otaki and avid John Deere collector and restorer.

The Chevrolet Pickup Truck is very typical of service vehicles used by John Deere Service Mechanics in the USA. The vehicles were originally built in the USA in the early 1940’s for military use as radio trucks and ambulances. When World War II ended civilian production began at the General Motors Ontario plant for right hand drive vehicles. Such vehicles were exported to New Zealand and assembled by the General Motors plant in Petone, Wellington. They were sought after by farmers and tradesmen, but generally very expensive to buy.

The original NZ owner of ‘Old JD” is unknown. But we do know that Horowhenua dairy farmer Johnny Olds purchased the vehicle in 1948 for use as a farm truck and milk transporter. The vehicle gave a lifetime of service to Mr Olds and was purchased by Ferg Crawshaw in 2002.  By this point in the vehicle’s history, modifications had been made to the braking and steering components to accommodate Mr Olds waning physical abilities in later years. The Chevrolet now boasts a Ford Bronco power steering system and a Holden Kingswood power braking system.

In its heyday Old JD could clock speeds of up to a modest 80km’s per hour.  But despite this slower pace (by modern standards), it did show (prior to restoration) evidence of being rolled into a ditch and was once reportedly found upside down in a ditch near Koputuroa by neighbours. 

Now, being fully restored to its almost original condition (some slight paintwork and mechanical modifications), the Pick Up is a popular Museum attraction for vehicle and John Deere enthusiasts alike.

Cheltenham Dairy Factory Truck

This 1912 Burford lorry was bought by Mr E. Sinclair when the Cheltenham Co-operative Dairy Company replaced their trucks in 1936. It was purchased to use for farm work on their Cheltenham farm.  After many useful years the aged truck was parked under trees and left to decay.

1999 saw Keith Ireland remove the remains of the Burford and take it to Tauranga.  By now a tree had fallen across the lorry, the back diff was pushed around by the front wheels which were decayed, the cab had deteriorated completely and the chassis had perished.  What a work of persistence, skill and love it must have been to restore this vehicle to todays condition.  In April 2011 Keith Ireland donated this lorry to the Coach House Museum another wonderful link to the past, which will stir many memories for visitors.

It is thought that lorries similar to this were used in World War One because they had small trays and could stand up to the rough roads and tracks over dry ground. They were sometimes used as ambulances or carried supplies to the armed forces.  After the 1914-1918 war, surplus armoury and vehicles were sent to Australia and New Zealand.  Dairy factories found uses for them, replacing the horse drawn carts used to distribute milk.  Stacked on the lorry deck are a collection of milk and cream cans, complete with suppliers factory numbers.







The Gig

A gig is a light, one horse, two wheeled carriage for two or three people.  Dennett springing and a sliding seat, to provide a comfortable ride, were very common features.  The Dennett system has a transverse leaf spring mounted on the rear ends of the longitudinal leaf springs.

The unusual feature of this gig is the lack of protection from mud thrown up from the road surface.  It has no sides and only short tenders.  The gig was built in Woodville in 1910 and was presented to the Coach House Museum by Mr Adam Beattie.


The Williamson Gig

Messrs Rouse and Hurrell built this gig for Stephen Williamson of Waituna West.  It was presented to the Society by Stephen's descendant, J. J. Williamson in October 1965.  Rouse and Hurrell, originally a Wellington business, operated a carriage-making factory in Feilding from 1897-1907.  According to the Williamson family, the brand new gig was returned to the maker for a special adaptation because Stephen's wife, Georgina, found it difficult to get into hampered by the fashionable hobble skirts she wore - she had another step added.

In New Zealand the gig was by far the most popular two wheeled passenger vehicle.  It was a light carriage, drawn by one horse and able to carry two or three people and their parcels or luggage.

This vehicle is "well gig" which means the bottom of the deck is built to sit between and below the shafts which are 6' 4" (1.95m) long.  The wheels are 4' 8" (1.42m) in diameter with 'butterfly' style mudguards.  Dennett springing is used in the suspension.  A feature of this vehicle is the sliding seat which allowed adjustment of the balance of horse and gig to give a most comfortable ride.

Mai Wagon

This wagon was purchased in c1900 by Mathius Mai of Feilding and used by his family as they moved from Feilding to Pohangina Valley, settling in Raumai.  In 1928 the family bought their first motor car and the Mai gig was stored in a barn, and then later led parades for the Ashhurst 100 year celebrations.   It was offered to the Society by the Mai family in 2004 and remains in original condition with only minor repairs in 1996.

The express wagon is such a versatile carriage, suitable for seated passengers travelling to church, or when the seats are moved, very adequate for carrying any of the needs and stores of the early settler families.  It was often harnessed with a single horse, or on occasion with a pole and two horses.

The wagon has travelled over 5,000 kilometres on treks promoting the establishment of the Coach House Museum and has been most useful for the deck space it has for carrying the Oroua Teamsters gear.

Crawshaw Collection

A world ranked collection of 17 John Deere tractors and associated memorabilia received from Ferg Crawshaw, a highly respected member of the Manawatu Vintage Machinery Club, and the man who has been collecting John Deere tractors for more years than he cares to remember.  This collection has been restored and presented in magnificent condition.

So where do tractors fit into the horse drawn era?  They don't!  But they do continue the progression of agriculture into the age of mechanisation, and an opportunity too good to pass up.  It depicts the historic and continuing importance of farming and the agricultural history of Feilding and the districts of the Manawatu.

Police Buggy

The Manawatu Historic Vehicle Collection Trust are delighted that the Police Museum has generously agreed to display their "gold" buggy at The Coach House Museum while their premises are being refurbished.

This wagon is typical of the kind of wagon used to transport gold from Kyeburn to Dunedin during the Otago gold rush.  

The buggy was restored in 1986 for the Police Centenary by the Friends of the Police Museum, and will remain on display at the Coach House Museum for five years.

 Fitch Four

The Pohangina County Council via Adams and Burgess of Palmerston North arranged for the delivery of the Fitch to be shipped to Auckland from America.  The County minutes show a report of the decision to proceed with the purchase at ₤750.  After removal of the steel lugs it was driven on the road from Auckland to Pohangina.

The Fitch was renowned for its traction and pulling power. Weighing 3 tons It was ideal to drive the metal crusher and pull the grader. It is powered by a 4 cylinder Climax engine with a 5 inch bore and a 6½ inch stroke.  It has steerage that resembles that used on a traction engine.

The Fitch tractor was later sold to Mr Clarry Buckman of Pohangina, where it demonstrated it’s pulling ability in both log hauling  and scrub crushing.  The Fitch was purchased in 1970 by Mr Jim Spall for restoration and returned to its former, new condition. Following the death of Mr Jim Spall in 2011 his family followed his instructions to donate this unique and rare example of 1920s engineering to The Coach House.  It forms the centre piece of  the ‘Jim Spall Collection’  of the Fitch Four and range of stationary engines.

Massey Harris Hay Tedder

An eight-fork hay tedder was one of the first implements to carry the ‘International’ name. They were one of the earliest mechanical forms of lifting hay off the ground to assist with drying the crop. The shape of the tines and motion of the crankshaft ensured a consistent lifting motion through the hay. On every tedder forks were placed outside the wheels so tedded hay would not be mashed down on the next pass.

This Massey Harris tedder was constructed by the Massey Harris workshops at the Sunshine Works of Melbourne, Australia. We haven't an actual date of manufacture but believe it to be one of the oldest hay conditioners in this collection.

This machine has been faithfully stored and then presented to the Coach House Museum in 2009 by the Rod Port family of Mount Richards, in the Pohangina Valley.  It has been restored to its present condition by Brian Schnell of Bunnythorpe.

This machine is now mounted up high and motorized to allow visitors to see  the tynes moving as if lifting a crop of hay at the push of a button.

Single Wheeled Grain Mower

Patented in July 1872 by Joseph Nicholson, Melbourne, Australia




 Found by Stewart Dyke of Feilding, about 1990, the single wheeled, grain mower was resting among the lupins on the banks of the Rangitikei River, up stream from the old Onepuhi Bridge, on property farmed by Snow Anderson’s family.

Stewart Dyke appreciated its age and uniqueness, arranging to have it brought to his Austin Museum at Maewa on Lethbridge Road, Feilding. He later passed it on to Brian James to clean and display as part of his private collection at James Road, Halcombe. There are several points on the machines ‘wearing parts’ that show it had done a significant amount of work, probably at the end of the 1890s or early 1900s.  

How it arrived on the banks of the Rangitikei River is speculation, as any people who may have worked with the mower, from either side of the river, are now deceased. The farms on both sides of the river were and have been grain growing properties under the management of several well known families: Thoms and Lee-Jones, from Porewa on the western banks, and Lee-Jones, Anderson, and local Reu Reu Road iwi on the eastern banks of the Rangitikei River. 

 We believe this could be the oldest example of harvesting machinery on display in New Zealand.   Thanks to Brian James and Brian Schnell for their rescue, restoration and research of this piece of early, harvesting machinery.


The First Austin Lorry


A Remarkable Design of Two-Ton Chassis

It is generally known that for quite a number of years Mr Herbert Austin, of the world-renowned British motor manufacturing firm of that name, has been looked to for originality and boldness of design in whatever branch of construction he interests himself. He has seldom allowed his undoubted creative genius to be fettered by conventional methods of construction. It is for this reason that an invitation from him to inspect any new model which may have been produced from his shops is always accepted with no small degree of pleasure.

Quite a Departure.

It is a long while since Mr Austin gave such serious attention to the production of commercial motors of any considerable load capacity. As a matter of fact, his only incursion into the industrial field since he has been building up, in so remarkable a manner, the fortunes of the Austin Motor Co., Ltd., at Northfield, Birmingham, has consisted of the production of a natty little cab chassis, which, however, did not quite satisfy the ideas of the Scotland Yard authorities. Nevertheless, the same model has done excellent service as a small van and as a private landaulette. It may be remembered that the driver is seated centrally, as regards that chassis, immediately over the engine.

A Low Loading Line

The dominant feature in the unusual methods of construction that have been adopted in the course of the design of the new Austin industrial chassis is undoubtedly the lowness of the frame line, and much of the whole conception is directly traceable to a desire to preserve a low loading platform on this model. The frame-work consists of a somewhat elaborate open girder-work construction, and this is suspended, respectively, on the front and back axles by novel arrangements of the usual laminated springs. At the front long semi-elliptic springs of normal type are located within the frame line, in order to ensure a quite unusual degree of lock for the front pivoted wheels. The front springs are anchored at their forward ends.

Novelty of Suspension
At the rear of the frame an entirely new method of suspension is adopted. Two springs are used on each side of the rear axle; one of each pair is placed above it and the other below, and it is claimed by the constructor that this arrangement efficiently provides for the transmission of either propelling or braking effort without imposing lateral bending action upon them.

Large Lock and Easy steering
Reference has just been made to the provision which has been made to ensure that this machine should have the maximum of lock. Care has also been taken to ensure the greatest possible facility of steerage. For that purpose, special; cast wheels have been devised, and these are dished in such a manner that the pivots are located directly over the points of contact between tyres and road. Another feature of the wheel design is the entire absence of protruding hub, a characteristic which will be much appreciated by those who have not hesitated to launch criticisms in this respect at some of the models which are much in use today. Quite a considerable proportion of the collisions in thick traffic, in which London motor ‘buses’ are involved are due to the striking, by some passing object, of protruding front hub caps. All four road wheels on the Austin two-tonner are cast steel, and the front one is riveted on to a flanged spindle of case hardened nickel steel, which runs in phosphor bronze bushes carried in the swivel heads. The rear wheels are bushed, and run on axle tube, which is specially ground for the purpose.

Accessibility a Great Feature
The mounting of the whole of the power unit is not the least conspicuous feature of this novel chassis. Engine, clutch, gear box and differential are all arranged conveniently on a sub-frame, and these components can be removed there-from with very little difficulty. The radiator is part and parcel of the dash board, so that it will at once be realized that the removal of the bonnet renders the whole of the engine exceptionally accessible.  The gear box, which is of exceptionally compact design, is of the constant-mesh type, changes of speed being affected by engagement or disengagement of the requisite dog clutches. The change speed lever and gate is mounted direct on the gear box, and is, therefore, placed on the driver’s left-hand side. The hand brake operating the rear wheel brakes is still retained in the customary offside position.

The Twin-Bevel Final Drives
Perhaps the most novel feature of the Austin mechanism is the arrangement by which the drive is transmitted from the rear part of the gear box, which portion houses the differential gear, to the hind driving wheels. Each wheel is driven independently by means of a universally-jointed propeller shaft, and at each end of each shaft an enclosed bevel gear is mounted. This usual arrangement has been decided upon primarily in order to arrive at a suitable combination of the relative advantages of the side-chain drive and of the worm or bevel live axle drive. It is claimed that this method yields the same clearance beneath the rear axle which is available with side-chain drives,  and it preserves, at the same time, the principal mechanical advantages which accrue from the employment of one or other of the better known forms of live axle. There is no central casing, of course, to detract from the ground clearance, and what disadvantages there may be to chain drive are not present.  The differential cross shaft carries at each of its extremities outside the rear end of the gear box, a well designed pedal operated brake mechanism.

Has Been Well Tested
It is unnecessary to say anything further with regard to this striking design. This actual example has successfully undergone very stringent tests round and about the Northfield works. Since the beginning of the year it has been carrying heavy loads of sand, soil, bricks, and slack, totaling well over its normal carrying capacity, in order to ensure good eliminating trials. We hear on excellent authority that the machine has created quite a name for itself in the locality of its testing ground on account of its quiet running and its turn of speed on the level with a full load up. In conclusion it may be mentioned that the Austin lorry has a track of 5ft., the ground clearance is 12 in., and the turning circle 42 ft., while the wheel base is 11ft.  The sole agents in New Zealand for this high-grade lorry are the Scott Motor Agency, Cuba Street, Wellington, who are quoting the chassis (gear box, four speeds and reverse) including tyres at £600.