STEP inside the O'Hara garage in Foster, South Gippsland, and it is clear this is no ordinary holding yard for old tractors.
While there is nothing unusual about the rows upon rows of Bulldogs and McCormicks, which take up most of the floor space, the walls give the game away: neatly displayed in chronological order are Andrea O'Hara's spruced-up ends off water carts.
Andrea has 35 water cart ends from various foundries, 18 of which are from the famed Furphy family in Shepparton.
While she acquired all of the ends in a suitably rusty state, she has given each of them a coat of paint and highlighted the writing.
"I think I like them because when you get them they are just plain and a bit boring, but if you highlight them they look better," she says. Andrea has been collecting and painting the Furphy ends since 1995, a habit she says came about entirely by accident.
"I saw one in someone's garden and I thought they were quite cool, so I bought one. Then I found one that was different and so I bought (it). And it snowballed from there. People then began to swap ones with me and so it grew even further." It is a habit that has gelled nicely with husband Bill's tractor collecting and, for the past 15 years, the pair have been climbing into the car and driving vast distances in the hope of a find at clearing sales.
In the golden days of trawling - when it seemed everyone was harbouring a Furphy end and a rare Bulldog - the couple would think nothing of driving to Western Australia for a six-week sweep of the clearing sales.
The trips have netted Andrea a healthy collection of Furphy ends, with her oldest one dating back to 1889 and her most recent being a commemorative issue from 1999.
Andrea loves the thrill of the chase, and once spent a good 15 years trying to get her hands on an entire Furphy water cart.
"I just kept asking the owner how my Furphy was going. Finally the property changed hands and the new owners agreed to sell it to me."
That Furphy water cart now sits at the entrance of the O'Hara property. The most Andrea has spent on a Furphy end has been "in the thousands", with their increasing scarcity causing prices to rise. "If money wasn't an object, then anyone could be a collector. If money is no object, you could also have the perfect tractor collection," she says.
"But it isn't as fun if you can just buy it. Genuine collectors aren't doing it for the money."
On occasions, Andrea has been lucky enough to spot an undervalued water cart that she would snap up, sell and then use the money to buy one she wanted.
She is missing a mere handful of Furphy ends - one from 1878-1880, two from 1880-1889 and one from 1910-1920.
"Of course there are a few I would like to get, but unless I am prepared to pay $6000 for one end I won't be able to get it. If I could get those two earliest Furphys and an oval Buffalo Pitts one, that would be it, I would be happy."
Still, Andrea isn't sweating about the holes in her collection.
"It will happen one day. I could probably find one of those early ends and get it recast and say that I have got it, but I can't see the point of that."