A North Devon family’s collection of modern classic tractors has sold for tens-of-thousands-of-pounds at auction.

A very strong online bidding presence, coupled with a large attendance, saw fierce bidding wars for the choice lots presented at the Cowle Collection sale, held at the Cowle family's Great Punchardon Farm in Winkleigh.

The family had decided to disperse its collection at auction with Cheffins, in order to pursue other business interests.

The collection by the Cowle family, which was hailed as 'exemplary' by auctioneers, had been built up since the 1980s by Rodney Cowle and his son, Steve.

The quality of the draft was exemplified by the top lot on the day, a 1980 County tractor which realised £76,650. The 1474 six-cylinder diesel tractor was an excellent example of this iconic range of tractors.

The sale's top lot, a 1980 County tractor.The sale's top lot, a 1980 County tractor.

Many record auction prices were achieved on the day which confirmed the buoyant market for Ford and Ford variants, such as County, Doe and Roadless.

Other top prices included, £56,1750 that was paid for a 1996 CASE 1455XL tractor and the £40,000 that was paid for a 1989 Ford 7810 Series III Silver Jubilee tractor.

Lower down the results but a particularly noteworthy price was the £21,000 realised by the 1975 Ford 7000 tractor and a Ford 5000 which made an impressive £13,650 .

Oliver Godfrey, director at Cheffins, said: "The Cowle Collection catalogue generated a huge buzz pre-sale and the auction did not disappoint with a huge attendance and lively bidding.

"Great credit has to go to the Cowle family as the tractors have been beautifully maintained over the years and they rightly drew good prices.

"We were very pleased to see many record auction prices for particular makes of tractors on the day, such as 1455XL and Silver Jubilees.

"This confirms Cheffins standing as the achieving the best prices for vintage and classic tractors."