AN Australian owner knocked back the "substantial" sale of a rare German tractor more than 100 years old to keep it in the family.
The 1921 Lanz Bulldog tractor - on display at the Orford Vintage Rally on Saturday - has been in Tim Bolwell's family for more than five decades.
"This is a special one that belongs to our family," he said.
The 26th rally was held at the old Orford sports ground where an array of tractors, engines, tools, cars, motorcycles and a tractor pull were on display across the weekend.
Mr Bolwell, from Dooen, a small town just north of Horsham, said his father collected the tractor in two parts - the chassis from a shed in Camberwell in Melbourne and the engine from Bendigo - before putting it together.
Mr Bolwell said it was believed to be the only original left of the German-made tractor in Australia.
He said the family refused to sell it because they could "never part with it".
"We got a substantial offer but it's not for sale, money can't buy it," Mr Bolwell said.
He did not wish to disclose the amount.
Mr Bolwell said the tractor was one of four brought into Australia, with the other three going to Gippsland, Tasmania and Queensland.
"This is the only one known to (still) exist," he said.
"The engine of one still remains in Tasmania but the rest either got scrapped, wrecked or disappeared."
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Mr Bolwell said the vehicle was special to the family because his father was a Bulldog tractor mechanic.
He said maintenance on the vehicle was simple.
"There's only 21 moving parts on it so we just keep it lubricated and it's always under cover," Mr Bolwell said.
"It is usually housed at the Wheatlands Agricultural Machinery Museum in Warracknabeal so that other people can enjoy it too."
Southern Vintage Engine and Tractor Pull Association president David Bartlett said he hoped to beat the 2021 attendance.
"It was pretty tough last year because there were COVID-19 outbreaks in the week before it so it knocked us out," he said.
"A lot of people of people wouldn't come even though we had more than 550 through the gate.
"Today, the numbers through the gate are looking pretty good.
"The weather's perfect - that's what brings the crowd out."
Mr Bartlett said he believed it was the first time a steam engine tractor was displayed at the event.
"There's a lot of interesting things here including some pretty rare and unique tractors," he said.
"It brings things out of the woodwork."
He said a popular event to watch was the hand sheep-shearing demonstration.
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