Fred’s engine sells for £240,000

Posted On July - 25 - 2010

Fred’s 1912 Aveling & Porter LTD Class KND Convertible Traction Engine was put up for sale on Saturday 24th under the instructions of the beneficiaries and executors of Fred’s estate. The engine which Fred restored using parts made in his own work shop, was featured in Fred’s last TV series: Made in Britain.

The estimated price was in the region of £120,000 – £140,000, but in the end it sold for twice that.

(credit: Lovejoy3755)
It has been announced that the engine was purchased by Michael Oliver, the founder of Cheshire-based manufacturer Oliver Valves. (source)

After securing the item for the North West, Mr Oliver said: “Fred Dibnah is a cult figure and national institution. It is vital that his engineering genius and his priceless contribution to our cultural heritage continues to be celebrated for years to come.

“We are already planning outings at steam shows, so the thousands of steam enthusiasts and Fred Dibnah fans – and their children – can continue to enjoy this iconic machine.”


In another quote, Mr Oliver said:

“I’m going to use it to go to the pub. There’s no point in owning something if you don’t use it.”

Cheffins also mention:

Michael Oliver has also offerred to Fred’s son Jack to have the opportunity to drive the engine and it is intended that the engine appears at Steam Shows across the UK.

Pictures from the auction

Fred' s traction engine being viewed at Cheffins before auction

Fred' s traction engine being viewed at Cheffins before auction

(many thanks to Philippa for sending some of the above pics along)

See more picture of the Traction Engine section of our Picture Gallery.

9 Responses to “Fred’s engine sells for £240,000”

  1. Joe says:

    Just added a Granada News report including a brief interview with Mr Oliver.

  2. Joe says:

    The traction engine arrives at Oliver Valves:

  3. old bill says:


  4. Michael Jones says:

    Fred was an institution and gave many of us an insight into our heritage and knowledge of the industrial revolution and the steam age.I am sure there are many others beside myself that are gratefull for this.

  5. kieran says:

    fred thanks for giveing me and my dad for a ride on your steam roller we both loved it love your workshop to

  6. Colin says:

    I’m glad Freds engine has gone to a good home and it reminds me that we never really own something – we are just custodians.

  7. Brian says:

    Fred epitomised all that was ‘Great’ about this country before the politicians aka As***es, allowed it to be spoilt. R.I.P. Fred, thanks for your submissions and contribution.

  8. peter webster says:

    Keep Freds engine in the UK , well done to Michael for buying , what will be a national treasure one day , if not now .At least we have a recent celebrity who left something for all to see , something to be proud of and not the usual sleaze.

Leave a Reply