JCB enthusiast snaps up Fastrac prototype

A significant piece of tractor engineering history has been snapped up by Fastrac enthusiast Johnny Hamill who has just bought one of the prototypes.

by Steven Vale

16 Apr 2019

Among the ex-demonstration Fastrac and other machines listed in the catalogue at a recent JCB auction, it was the P5 prototype that caught Mr Hamill’s eye.

 “Although we’re now electrical and civil engineering contractors, we used to do a lot of agricultural contracting with a Fastrac 145-80 and after we sold it I always promised I’d buy another sometime and do it up,” said Mr Hamill.

“I’d just bought a nice example in Essex when my nephew Paidi told me about the Fastrac prototype for sale at the JCB auction and I flew back to bid for it.”

His successful bid secured Fastrac P5, the fifth prototype to be built in the late 1980s before the final design went into production in 1991.

Johnny Hamill (centre) and his nephew Paidi Hamill meet Paul Hemingway, who was part of the JCB team that launched the Fastrac in the 1990s.

“I remember our 145-80 as a fantastic machine, a great tractor to drive for dump-trailer and low-loader trailer work, when drawing silage for other contractors, and for cultivations.”

He plans a bare chassis rebuild for the Fastrac 145-80 he’s just bought but just a sympathetic refurbishment for P5. “We’ll probably overhaul the engine and transmission and tidy the cab and bodywork, but I think it otherwise needs to stay original as a machine that paved the way for the great production tractors that followed.”