Bill takes out world title

Local identity Bill Shanley has been named the world champion tractor collector in a recent National Geographic competition.

The well-known tractor collector Mr Shanley, from Bunyan has taken out the title in the National Geographic competition - 'Clash of the Collectors.'

In August last year a film crew from National Geographic visited Bunyan to record Mr Shanley and his collection, for inclusion in a global TV program about tractor collectors.

Finalists in the competition came from Brazil and America and were also included in the program.

The program went to air in 17 different countries on Foxtel on Friday January 31.

Mr Shanley, dubbed 'the Aussie outback farmer' in the film, explained the competition assessed three aspects of a collection.

"It is a point score system, and in the end I was up against an American and a Brazilian collector," Mr Shanley said.

The first category was for the biggest collection, the American won that round with 132 tractors, against Mr Shanley's collection of 115 tractors the second biggest collection, followed by the Brazilian collector with 77.

The second category was for the rarest tractor.

"I won that category with my Chamberlain 55 KA model, which took me four years to find the parts for it."

Mr Shanley explained he made the tractor out of parts from 23 wrecked Chamberlain tractors.

"The Chamberlain 55 KA is an Australian tractor made in Perth between 1954 and 1956, and only 265 were made.

"There are only a handful left in the world.

"John Deere bought out Chamberlain in the late 1970s," Mr Shanley said.

"The Amerian contestant came second with a Minneapolis Moline which he paid $147,000 for."

The unusual last category was for the collector who had made the 'biggest sacrifice' for their collection.

"The Brazilian almost blew himself up when he started one of his tractors, and the American talked about how much money he had spent on his collection - around $1million," Mr Shanley said.

"And I had to drive 4,000km to Perth to get a tractor.

"The Brazilian won that one, I came second and the American third.

"Now I'm classed as the world champion tractor collector."

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