The Tractor Comes Home

There was great excitement here at 1.30am on Wednesday morning when Charlie Keegan’s fully restored 1964 World Championship winning Deutz D40L tractor finally arrived back home! Michael was like a child in a sweet shop, an exhausted one though!

Charlie's fully restored D40L tractor

Charlie’s fully restored D40L tractor

The last big piece of work that was done to the tractor was to transport it to Co. Loais to get a fantastic stainless steel exhaust fitted. This was expertly done by Pipe Fab in Clonaslee and the final result is excellent. Although the purists would not be happy, the fancy exhaust adds a bit of fun to the tractor and Michael felt Charlie would like it.

Charlie's D40L

Charlie’s D40L

 

Then it was transported home to the farm and by golly, it’s magnificent. The complete transformation from total rust bucket to shining glory is truly something to behold! It has been 9 months since the old rusty tractor arrived back in the yard and physical restoration only got under way in March.

 

These past three weeks have been the most fraught and the work rate has been immense by everyone involved. I suppose everyone was on tenterhooks just hoping for everything to work out right and the tractor to be ready on time with no last minute disasters. I still have my fingers crossed. Just in case. There was an unexplained oil leak and talk of having to take the WHOLE engine apart to find it. Could you imagine?? It would never be ready on time, a total disaster and after all that work! Thankfully it righted itself after the tractor was taken out for a ‘good, hard drive’. I never saw Michael from dawn to dusk, both of us were flat out working and trying fit normal life in around all the extra bits going on. He was either in the workshop working on the plough or over with Peter in north Co. Dublin delivering parts or helping sort out problems. And I was in the kitchen cooking up a storm in preparation for the Shop taking a stall at the Enniskerry Victorian Festival 2014 taking place this weekend.

 

The Steel Exhaust

The Steel Exhaust

They got an ‘after market’ exhaust – that’s a technical term folks, essentially meaning a ‘pre-loved’ exhaust – which didn’t fit and was blowing out heaps of smoke and damaging the paint work. So then the idea of getting a cool chrome exhaust came to mind, but it ended up being a cool mirror polished stainless steel one instead. Still pretty cool I reckon!

 

The Plough

The wonderful EcoBlast Ireland in Kilcoole sandblasted the larger parts of plough and on its return to the farm all the different bits were primed, which took a few days as there are so many parts. Then everything had to be painted once the primer was dry. IMG_0860 The different pieces of the plough were painted either red or green depending on where they belonged to. IMG_0878The next job was to assemble them, this was like fitting together a jigsaw. Our neighbour Sean Hogan helped out here and it was a tough task getting all the pieces to fit and bolts them all in. A bit of muscle was needed!! There was constant references to old photographs and leaflets to make sure all the little details, like bolts facing the correct way, were accurate. But it really looks great now and the red of the plough contrasts lovely with the shiny green of the tractor.

 

Now it’s just the touching up the paint and setting it (putting the disks and boards at the correct angles) and then greasing the plough and its ready to rock.

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The tractor and plough will be exhibited at the Enniskerry Victorian Festival this weekend of the 13th and 14th of September, something which lots of Charlie’s friends and neighbours are looking forward to. It will also be exhibited at the National Ploughing Championships on the 23rd, 24th and 25th of September at the NPA stand to mark the occasion of the 50th Anniversary. Can I please extend our most heartfelt thanks and gratitude to everyone involved in any small or large way, this has been an emotional roller coaster and means so much to Michael and the Keegan family.

Enniskerry Victorian Festival 2014

The Enniskerry Victorian Field Day is a really fab day out for all the family. Being held again this year on the Heatley family’s Knocklinn Farm at the Bray end of Ballyman road, on Sunday the 14th of September. Doors to the public open at 11am but we’ll be there setting up our stall from 8am.

JennyVictorianDay

If you are coming please drop by, we’ll have a small selection from the Shop including juices, delicious sweetcorn and cooking our own pedigree Lleyn lamb sausages, yum yum! Loads of events are happening throughout the day such as pony rides, dog shows, storytelling, puppetry, kids games and a whole variety of competitions. The dress code is Victorian and almost everyone gets involved in the fun and has a stab at getting dressed up. There are even prizes for the best costumes! Unfortunately Old Connaught road is closed so all traffic will have to come down Ballyman road from Enniskerry. We hope you’ll come along and support this fun annual event. It is all organised by volunteers and in aid of charity, this year’s charities are the Lakers and the joint local parishes.