THE Ford 7810 tractor requires little introduction – it’s a well-balanced, six-cylinder workhorse that proved to be a bread-and-butter seller for Ford. Launched in 1987, the 7810 Series II was an instant hit – being a light and manoeuvrable tractor, yet packing a punch thanks to its gutsy 6.6l engine pumping out 100hp.
The whole 10 Series II line-up received an update in 1989 and morphed into Generation III tractors, by which time the 7810 was accounting for 25% of Ford’s tractor sales in the UK.
Although some may argue that the long standing and formidable TW tractors deserved further recognition, Ford selected the trusty 7810 when it came to producing a special commemorate edition tractor.
The story begins in 1962 when Ford began construction of a new state-of-the-art tractor production facility and global headquarters in Basildon, Essex, with the first tractors rolling off the production line a mere two years later in May, 1964. According to CNH, 70% of tractors manufactured at Basildon were exported, accounting for 1% of the UK’s entire global income at one stage.
In 1989, to celebrate 25 years of continuous tractor production, Ford presented a silver tractor model to any customer who purchased a new tractor. Furthermore, Ford decided to produce a special, limited edition 7810 ‘Silver Jubilee’ tractor. While reports vary of the numbers produced, CNH literature verifies that there are less than 500. However, many tractor enthusiasts will agree on a figure between of 150 and 200.
Nonetheless, the 7810 Silver Jubilee is easily recognisable by its metallic silver bonnet, cab and wheel rims – as well as the commemorative decals on the side of the roof.
Many optional extras were available, including a second assistor ram, air conditioning, performance monitor and four spool valves, but these were selectable and also extra to the list price of the tractor. One tractor was allocated to UK dealers. Many found these bespoke 7810s hard to sell due to their unusual paintwork and expensive extras list leaving Ford a little red-faced, with myths of some tractors being re-sprayed blue.
Fast forward to the 2000s where interest in these special 7810s received a revival. Enthusiasts and collectors alike scrambled to locate and purchase the rare breed silver Fords and while ‘blue’ 7810s continue to have a very good resale value, the silver editions command very strong prices proving to be a collector’s gem.
In a fitting tribute, New Holland created special edition golden jubilee editions of their T6.160 and T7.270 tractors to celebrate 50 years of production in 2014 – although refrained from producing a golden bonnet and cab!
Years of manufacture