A farmer whose rusty tractor can be seen on a busy Devon road has a hidden companion – a £120,000 Aston Martin.
Malcolm Miller is a one-off character whose success story and lifestyle does not quite follow the usual rags-to-riches plot-line.
Now, aged 70, Malcolm continues to work hard, just as he has every day for the past 50 years.
At the same time, he seems to regard the trappings of wealth with nothing but wry amusement.
Malcolm bought the £120,000 Aston Martin because his children told him he ought to get some sort of treat for himself before he “kicked the bucket”.
As for the Massey Ferguson 35, it is one of the most well-known vehicles in East Devon where it is parked on the grass verge most days just outside the popular Miller’s Farm Shop on the A35 just outside Axminster.
“I bought it in 1960 for £537,” shrugged Malcolm. “He was nice and bright and shiny back then, but he needs a bit of attention now. Bit like me!”
If Malcolm’s farm shop has become a success story, then it is down to his hard-working ethos.
“I just started with £62 and I rented a couple of acres,” Malcolm told DevonLive.com.
“I rented more land, then bought some, then rented more and bought more. I used to grow daffodils and vegetables and all that malarky. But one Friday, after paying all the blokes, I said to Angela my wife: ‘Is there anything left for us?’
“That is when I we changed the business a bit. It was 1988 and we had some old farm buildings - cow stalls - and we put some spuds and cabbages in there. No shelving, nothing. And it fell out the door. We’ve been busy ever since.”
Miller’s with its fresh produce and cafe now attracts customers from miles around. One of the draws is that Malcolm crosses to France each week to bring back foods and wine. Not that he uses the Aston for the travelling.
“No, I bought it ten years ago and it’s only done 10,000 miles. I just use it once a week to go out for a cup of tea,” he said.
“Why did I buy it? Well, all I’ve ever done is work seven days a week. The children said: ‘Dad, you’ve got to buy yourself at least one thing before you go on’.
I thought, ‘Bugger if I didn’t put a bit aside when I was 20. And that’s what I used to buy the car.”