6. The Tractor Whisperer

António Fortunato, 82 years old with a collection of tractors and other agricultural machinery from times past. A collection which isn’t a collection.

Episode 6 – The Tractor Whisperer
|Created and produced by Marco António
|Translated and narrated by de Lucy Pepper
|Official theme music: Fado do SonhoPensão Flor
|Additional music: Wes Martin | Lee Rosevere | Orquestra Popular de Paio Pires
|The Portuguese version of this episode can be found at “Histórias de Portugal
(narrated by Marco António)

On a small plot next to a bend in the road, EN374, in Gozundeira (Sobral de Monte Agraço), is a kind of exhibition of rare tractors and farm machinery from other times. It is the collection of António Fortunato, a retired farmer of 82 years, who doesn’t consider himself a collector, and so he doesn’t consider what he has spent 20 years collecting… a collection. There isn’t a single tractor in the collection with which he worked from when he was 11 until he retired, there are just ones that he has bought from scrapyards to do up. Today, all of them work. All the machines have their own stories, from the Ford 8N (his first acquisition, and his favourite) to the John Deere R (of which only six came to Portugal), to a farm machine that runs on steam which he restored.

António Fortunato’s talent for restoring old tractors is such that he even made a functioning tractor from three broken tractors. This one:

(which is started with the help of a shotgun cartridge! see the video below)

He keeps an eye on the collection with daily visits and with a perfect view from his house. In other times, the plot was guarded by his dog which, unluckily, died. His name was Unlucky.