This year marks the 90th anniversary of ERF, with a celebration planned on the 4th and 5th of November at the Newark Vintage Tractor and Heritage Show.
ERF was established in 1933 by Edwin Richard Foden, and eventually purchased by MAN SE before ceasing production in 2008. While it was never a major manufacturer, with domestic sales only reaching 1,083 by 1983, it remains a key part of British development.
On display at the National Vintage Tractor and Engine Club (NVETC) North Midlands’ stand will be a 1962, 12-tonne ERF, owned by Alan Hitchcock.
“The vehicle was first registered in July 1962, and the present owner bought it in 2022,” explained NVETC North Midlands representative, Derek Turton. “It will be on display at our stand, and on the back will be a vintage tractor, so it will be quite the display. It will be the first time we’ve had a stand at the show, we’re all excited, particularly with the 90 years of ERF theme.”
A more modern example will be displayed by Rich Eldred, who will bring a 1997 ERF EC Olympic Gold. “My dad used to have one when I was a kid and I always wanted one,” he explained. “Three years ago I finally bought one, off a friend who was retiring it from work.
“It was fulfilling a childhood dream for me. It’s quite a rare truck, too, as it’s a Gold spec Olympic, which means it’s top spec; every box was ticked, which even in 1997 meant it had air conditioning.”
Bringing both an ERF and an Atkinson to the event is Richard Dale. Atkinson followed a similar philosophy to ERF, developing value-for-money lorries. It was founded in 1970 but was defunct by 2009.
Mr Dale’s Atkinson truck is from 1993. “It was first owned by BP Petroleum, it was then purchased by someone who had a fuel business himself – Stone’s Fuels – so he could deliver to the fisheries around the East coast,” he said.
When the fuel business went under new ownership, the truck was painted red. “Then he bought the business back, and the truck remained in his garage for 26 years. In May, I had the chance to purchase the truck, so we have put it back to his colours, with his name on it – as a tribute to him and Stone’s Fuels – we’re going to surprise him.
“I haven’t seen one for many years, luckily it was dry stored, with minimal damage and started first time.”
Mr Dale’s ERF truck was originally owned by Flo Gas, but was sold to a local farmer. “He ran it for a number of years on the farm, still in the Flo Gas colours – it had been stood in the yard for two years, when he asked if we could come and paint the front bumper,” he said.
“So we asked what his plans were for it, and he said he was going to sell it – so we bought it and repainted it into our colours – Seven Acre Commercials. And we use it to bring vehicles to shows. The truck gets shown too, as well as whatever is on the back of it.”
Tickets for the Newark Vintage Tractor and Heritage Show are available at www.newarkvintagetractorshow.com