Tractors

Ferguson Tractor Dating Guide


This dating guide is of a general nature for members’ information. Subject to revision

Ferguson Tractor Dating Guide

First published in Club Journal Voume1 No.1. 1986
Revised 15/8/2022 with Ferguson Model A details from Stuart Gibbard.


Thomas McGregor Greer and the No. 1 Tractor

THOMAS MCGREGOR GREER AND THE NO. 1 TRACTOR Leslie Hutchison. Co.Tyrone. N. Ireland.

Those of us who have been fortunate enough to visit the Massey Ferguson museum, may well have admired the 1936 Type A, on display there.

Most of us know by now, that these tractors were manufactured by David Brown of Yorkshire. The example on display is of particular significance, as it was the first one built, and thus carries the serial number 1. From the Harry Ferguson sales records for Northern Ireland (a copy of which exists at Greenmount Agricultural College, Antrim), we know that this tractor and its implements arrived in Belfast on the 21 st April, 1936 . They were used throughout the year for demonstration and show purposes.

One of these early demonstrations was held at Andersonstown and attended by a number of prominent figures. An account of this appeared in The Northern Whig and Belfast Post, Tuesday 26th May, 1936. On 12th January, 1937, No. 1 tractor plough and general cultivator were sold to Mr. Thomas McGregor Greer, Tullylagen Manor, near Cookstown, Co. Tyrone, whose association with Harry Ferguson went back to the early years of this century.

Thomas McGregor Greer was the only son of Thomas Greer, M.P., F.R.G.S. of Grove House, Regents Park, London and Sea Park, Carrick fergus , Northern Ireland. In 1898 he inherited the lease of Tullylagen Manor. When asked his occupation for the parish records he replied, “Gentleman.”

Greer’s many varierd interests included wood-carving, photography, gardening and last but not least the motor-car. He became the first man to drive a car, a De Dion Bouton, through the famous wide main street of Cookstown. Subsequently Greer purchased another car. From local legend· I believe this was a Vauxhall, a make at that time gaining a reputation for fast, well built cars. However, Greer’s later acquistion would not perform to his satisfaction and attempts to remedy the situation failed. Greer had heard about a young machanic called Harry Ferguson, who was supposed to ‘have a way with engines’ . So the young Ferguson was summoned to Tullylagen. His success with engines impressed Greer to such an extent that Ferguson was asked to service all cars at Tullylagen from then on.

When Harry was required to stay overnight he slept above the harness room. In winter the only heat was from the iron chimney pipe which passed vertically through the room from the stove below. The well-being of the harness was probably the prime consideration!

When Ferguson started his own garage, Greer was a major financial backer. As a local observed at the time, “when Harry Ferguson came to Tullylagen he slept in the farm buildings, before he left he was sleeping in the Manor House!”

Greer also shared Ferguson’s enthusiasm for mechanized farming. A field at Tullylagen (well away from public gaze), was made available to Ferguson for testing the various designs. During these tests, Ferguson used the services of a neighbouring farmer, called Joe Warnock. Driving a tractor was not a totally new experience for Joe, as he had been taught to drive a car by Greer’s chauffeur. These lessons took place in the farm yard using the De Dion when the master was away.

When demonstrations were given to the public. Joe Warnock would drive the tractor while Ferguson addressed the spectators. Should a mechanical failure occur, Ferguson would automatically blame the operator, not the machine! No matter what Harry Ferguson said Joe Warnock would never answer back. The reason being that Ferguson paid him a bonus to take such blame, thus sparing the machine and Harry, any public embarrassment.

To return to 1937 and Tullylagen, the farm manager at the time was called Jim Scott. Years later he recalled the tractor and plough’s arrival on the estate. “It was an understood arrangement between Harry Ferguson and Mr. Greer, that the very first production tractor and plough would be sold to no-one else other than Thomas McGregor Greer. Mr. Greer wanted to secure his place in history as the owner of the first tractor and plough built for the hydraulic system”. Jim Scott further recalled that Greer did not like steel wheels so pneumatics were very soon fitted. Also he was concerned that there was no protection for the driver from the rear wheels. This probably explains those unique mudguards which are still present on No. 1 to this day.

No. 1 Model A Tractor at M-F Museum. Photograph courtesy of Massey Ferguson.

As rumours of impending war began, the tractor was used to haul trailers filled with stones and rocks to certain locations on the surrounding roads. Here they were unloaded and concealed behind the hedgerows, the idea being that should the enemy invade, Greer’s men would use these to build roadblocks and thereby hinder the progress of enemy vehicles.

On 9th June, 1941 Thomas McGregor Greer died at Tullylagen Manor. At his own request his coffin was placed on a haycart, covered with red carpet and pulled by an Austin car sent from Harry Ferguson’s garage in Belfast. Jim Scott was the driver. The funeral cortege made its way to the nearby Desertcreat Parish Church. Harry Ferguson who was in the U.S.A. at the time was represented by Mr. Joe Thompson, who along with Hugh Reid was to form in 1959, Thompson-Reid Ltd.

After World War II the tractor and plough were sold. A friend of Joe Warnock’s, Mr. Lynch, purchased the tractor and it spent the next few years in the Coalisland area. It was subsequently sold back to Harry Ferguson who, I believe, part¬-exchanged it for a reconditioned Ford/Ferguson.
As regards the No 1 plough this was advertised in a local newspaper, The Mid-Ulster Mail, during the spring of 1947. The buyer was Mr. William Gibson who farmed near the village of Coagh. The price paid was £25, for which he also got the original top-link into the bargain. The plough was collected the followinig day by his son, Sandy. It was with Sandy Gibson’s help that I acquired the plough during March 1980. Other than requiring a few IIlinor repairs it is in much the same condition as it was in 1936.

At present Tullylagen Manor is undergoing a major restoration programme. Soon the house and the farmyard will look as they did in McGregor Greer’s day including the room where Harry Ferguson slept. The new owner, Mr. Raymond Turkington, intends to see that it is preserved.

Leslie Hutchison. Co.Tyrone. N. Ireland. First published Club Journal V.2 N.3 Autumn 1988


Tullylagan Manor – A short History

Welcome to Tullylagan Manor – A short History

The present house at Tullylagan was built during the early 19th Century by the Greer family. The style is that of a late Georgian classical villa. While the precise history is unfortunately not known, it is believed that this building replaced a much older structure which was erected by the Sanderson family.

1898 saw the arrival at Tullylagan of Thomas McGregor Greer. who was responsible for much of the development of the Manor. McGregor Greer was a talented man who had many diverse interests. He considered the Manor House inadequately propor­tioned for a country residence. Rather than risk spoiling the architecture by adding to the house he decided to excavate the basement. ‘This was a mammoth task depending heavily on manual labour, with the soil removed from the basement. the house became three-storey.

The grounds of the estate received similar attention with many rare and exotic trees and shrubs being planted. Greer was able to identify each plant by its common and latin name.

In the farmyard he installed carpentry facilities and here many fine examples of chairs, tables and other items were produced. As he had by now an exquisite collection of fine bone china a kitchen sink was made from softwood and installed in the Manor House. This was to minimise damage to the china during washing. Desertcreat Church was to benefit as the Holy Table, Chancel Chairs and beautifully carved Reredos were made here and pre­sented by Greer to the Church.

To enable work to continue during the hours of darkness a turbine was installed to drive a dynamo. Intially only those buildings located in the farmyard had electric light. in later years the dynamo was replaced by a larger model and electricity was supplied to the House.

In additton to all this McGregor Greer received many guests from all walks of life at Tullylagan. Sir Edward Carson the eminent lawyer who inspired Terence Rattigan’s play “The Winslow Boy” was a visitor. Another was F.E. Smith who later became Lord Birkenhead the Lord Chancellor, who by 1914 was reputedly earning £30,000 a year at the Bar.

Another person who came to Tullylagan, not as a guest but as a mechanic was none other than Harry Ferguson the tractor pioneer and inventor. To conclude with we reproduce two articles which were written by a local enthusiast and which were pub­lished in the Ferguson Club Journal. These relate to Harry Ferguson’s association with McGregor Greer and the estate. We hope you find them enjoyable.

Issued as the cover of an A4 insert to the Club Journal mailing in 1996, with reprints of ‘Anything short of concrete’  V.4 N.1, Spring 1990 and Thomas McGregor Greer and the No. 1 tractor V.3 N.3, Autumn 1988 .

Footnote:  McGregor or MacGregor?
The journal articles consistently show Thomas’ middle name as McGregor.  The Cookstown Local History group have Thomas MacGregor Greer, Births, Deaths, Marriages have MacGregor.


No 1 Returns to its Tullylagen Home

NO 1 RETURNS TO ITS TULLYLAGAN HOME – Leslie Hutchinson

The manor at Tullylagan recently restored by its present owner, Mr Raymond Turkington. The house has been restored as it was when Harry Ferguson first visited it before the Great War. Photo: G Field, Sutton, Tenbury Wells, Worcs

On Saturday 8th June 1991 Ferguson type ‘A’ No 1 returned to its former home near Cookstown, Northern Ireland, after an absence of 45 years.

The occasion was the Tullylagan Manor ‘Heritage Day’, a tribute to the memory of the late Thomas MacGregor Greer DL, JP, a former director in the pre-war Ferguson farm machinery companies who died on 9th June 1941. This event also happened to be the first ever organised by the Ferguson Club in Northern Ireland. ‘No l’ was recently restored by Club members John Burge and David Bull. It is due to their efforts that the tractor is now in truly pristine condition.

Normally ‘No l’ is on permanent display in Massey-Ferguson’s museum at Banner Lane where it is one of the company’s most prized exhibits.

When the idea of a tribute was originally conceived one or two cynics thought it unlikely that ‘No l’ would be allowed out of the factory gates, let alone to Northern Ireland. However Mr Aaron Jones. Managing Director of Massey-Ferguson Tractors Ltd, recognised the significance of the event and very kindly permitted ‘No l’ to return to its former home. We believe this is the first time that one of the world’s largest manufacturers has sent one of their vintage models to a venue in Northern Ireland. Needless to say, all concerned were absolutely delighted by this and a very big ‘thank you’ is due to Aaron Jones and Massey-Ferguson. without whose generosity it would not have been possible.

Prior to departure, ‘No l’ was completely serviced, checked and resprayed by John Burge and David Bull, who also volunteered to accompany the tractor to Cookstown. Thus on 8th June 1991, ‘No l’ was reunited with its original ‘B’ type plough, No 1, as well as its general cultivator, in the very same yard to which they were delivered 55 years ago in 1936. This must be a terrific achievement by any standards and one of which the Ferguson Club can be justly proud.

The Ulster Folk and Transport Museum was also represented in the form of a full sized replica Ferguson monoplane loaned by our good friend John Moore, keeper of the museum’s transport section. This particular replica was, for several years, on display at Belfast International Airport.

In order to transport it the wings and certain other fittings have to be removed and John was already at Tullylagan at 7am assembling the machine. Recent members who are interested in Harry Ferguson’s pioneering aviation activities are recommended to read John’s excellent article in the Spring 1990 Journal, Vol 4 No 1. (Back issues are still available – see details below. John Moore also wrote in ‘Fly-Past’ magazine, December 1984, on the same subject. Editor)

Among the other Fergusons present were four other Ferguson type ‘A’/Ferguson-Browns. Type ‘A’ No 307, now owned by Noel Greer, has a special association with Tullylagan Manor as its original owner, the late Robert McGucken, saw the ‘Black Tractor’ being demonstrated here in the early ‘thirties. No 307 was itself demonstrated near Cookstown in August 1937.

Dan McTaol from Ballymoney, Co Antrim, attended with his 1937 model, registered as DZ 5220. Dan is a well known vintage tractor enthusiast and appears at many events all over the province. This tractor has Dunlop rear wheels fitted with 24″ tyres instead of the normal 22″ size. Ian McAllistair of Dervock sent his 1937 model, No 467, and driven by Robert Kidd of Broughshane, Co Antrim.

‘No l’ on arrival at its former home for the years 1936 to 1946. Ferguson Club executive officer George Field, with David Bull and John Burge who carried out this impeccable piece of restoration. Harry Ferguson was uncompromising when it came to the presentation of his machinery. He would have been well satisfied with the standard of turnout for this, his first production tractor. Photo: Mid-Ulster News

Published in Volume 5 No. 2 Winter 1991

Footnote: During September 1991 the farm buildings at Tullylagen Manor were extensively damged by fire.  The room where Harry Ferguson slept on his early visits to the manor and the garage and coach house were fortunately undamaged.  The main building including the hydro-electric plant, stables and function hall were gutted.  At the time of writing the extent of structural damage is unclear.  The cause of the fire is unknown.  Leslie Hutchinson, Newsletter Winter 1991,


The Ferguson ‘A’, “Anything short of concrete”

ANYTHING SHORT OF CONCRETE!” by Leslie Hutchinson

World famous for their farm implement range Massey-Harris had expanded into tractor production through the acquisition in 1928 of the JI Case Plow Works Co who held the rights to the ‘WALLIS’ tractor. (A version of this machine had been built in the UK by Ruston and Hornsby and marketed as the ‘BRITISH WALLIS’.)

While the demonstration Harry Ferguson gave for the Massey-Harris executives was impressive, no manufacturing agreement resulted. But then, this was the autumn of 1932.

Tullylagen Manor, home of Mr McGregor Greer, Photo: G. Field

One of the fields at Tulllagen Manor where early Ferguson developments were tsted including the ‘Black’ tractor. Photo – G. Field

Not long after this, construction of the Ferguson prototype (popularly known as the ‘BLACK TRACTOR’) was completed. To evaluate the design a series of field tests commenced, one of the locations chosen being Thomas McGregor Greer’s Tullylagen Manor es­tate near Cookstown, Co Tyrone in Northern Ireland. Here a field well away from the public gaze was used to enable the testing to take place in secret. It subsequently became the best known secret in the district! Joe Warnock, a neighbour of Greer’s, would drive the tractor leaving Harry and his right-hand man Willy Sands free to concentrate on engineering matters.

All this activity at Tullylagen inter­ested a young Cookstown man called Robert McGucken. As well as being good friends of the Warnocks the McGuckens owned the MOC Garage Co and a franchise for ‘Austin’ cars. (MOC Garages occupied premises in Magherafelt, Omagh and Cookstown, the initial of each town forming the com­pany name.) Not surprisingly Robert had little difficulty in gaining access to the test site. Here he found that a small corrugated iron shed had been erected to serve as a field workshop and provide shelter from inclement weather. During this visit Robert enjoyed a long conversation with Willy Sands on the fu­ture of mechanised farming – outside the workshop!

In the spring of 1933 Harry Fer­guson held a number of public demonstrations using the prototype ‘Black’ tractor. While some refused to take the new machinery seriously others realised its potential. Two of those who did were Hugh Minford. MP for Antrim and Rowley Elliot, MP for South Tyrone. During the second reading of the Agricultural Marketing Bill at Stor­mont, Minford and Elliot spoke highly of the new farm machinery. Rowley Elliot pointed out that of all the food consumed in the UK. only three-sevenths was ac­tually produced by British farmers. He believed that if the new machinery were to be made in Northern Ireland. it would not only help farmers but increase employment as well.

Not all of those in the Northern Ireland House of Commons shared this view however. The then Minister of Agriculture, Sir Edward Archdale, ex­pressed concern that the machinery might not be suitable for small farms. “It will do a garden .• retorted Hugh Min­ford. Rowley Elliot then extended an invitation to the NI government to attend a demonstration this being accepted by the Minister of Labour, Mr Andrews.

Sadly a tractor factory in Ulster (the six counties of Northern Ireland) never became a reality and three years passed before the design entered production in England at a Huddersfield gear factory. This resulted from a manufacturing agreement between Harry Ferguson and David Brown and Sons. Put simply, Browns were to build the tractor. Ferguson would sell it.

Throughout 1936 the Ferguson A (Ferguson-Brown) was demonstrated all over Ulster including Ballyclare, Ander­sontown, Armagh and the Agricultural Research Institute at Hillsborough. At each demonstration an unidentified ‘spectator’ would ask Harry Ferguson the same question: “ls there anything it cannot plough? “Anything short of con­crete!” Ferguson would reply.

Despite all this, sales of the new tractor could hardly be described as spectacular. It was apparent that farmers were still loyal to the horse and this was not going to change overnight. A demonstration held at Ardtrea near Cookstown in early 1937 illustrates this point. As the day progressed it was suggested to the farmer who owned the land that he should buy the tractor. He was aghast. “Me! Buy a tractor! The weight of that thing’lI pack the land. No – give me a horse any day. (Harry Fer­guson 0 – ‘Dobbin’ 1)

In August 1937 Robert McGucken decided to buy another tractor for the agricultural contracting business he had started. This he mentioned to Harry Ferguson during a visit to Belfast. Not one to miss an opportunity for good publicity and knowing that at least this time he was sure of a buyer, Harry of­fered to stage a demonstration. A suitable field was found adjacent to the Lissan road near Cookstown, Co Tyrone. The tractor selected, serial no. 307. driven by Joe Warnock, opened the demonstration with a Fer­guson ‘B’ type two furrow plough while Harry Ferguson addressed the crowd. A fter ploughing a few rounds. (’bouts’ to ploughmen), Joe turned to the spec­tators and picked out a young man, a certain Rankin Faulkner. On mounting the tractor. Rankin was given verbal in­structions what to do and, moments later, moved off ploughing two furrows with apparent ease. To this day Rankin modestly maintains that his efforts were not exactly world class but, in view of the circumstances, he did very well indeed.
Ferguson ‘A’ No. 307 referred to in Leslie Hutchinson’s article. Note that the oil filter over the magneto coupling is not original equipment. This one was fitted in the late 1950s during an overhaul by a garage in Magherafelt. Taken at the County Armagh Vintage Vehicles Club Rally at Markerhall1989.

Even the sceptics had to admit that this was an amazing feat. Joe War­nock’s choice was certainly not made an random for the Faulkner family owned a successful electrical business in the town and as such were known far and wide. Thus, no-one could accuse Fer­guson of cheating by using one of his own employees. The point of the exer­cise did not go unnoticed. If a novice could use this machine just think what an experienced farmer could do with it. At the end of the demonstration it was an­nounced that the tractor had been sold to, surprise, surprise. Mr Robert McGucken. The farmers went home with much food for thought and their sons very disappointed that they had not been picked to drive the tractor!

Tractor no. 307, registered as vehicle JI 7674 on September 2nd 1937, was shortly engaged on its first job, binding oats. When Robert and his young helper arrived at the customer’s farm they found harvesting already in progress in an adjacent field, also oats. It so happened that on this occa­sion the binder was being pulled by a tractor bigger, heavier and more powerful than the diminutive type ‘A’. On seeing the new arrivals the driver stopped work and, walking over to the hedge, exclaimed: “You’re surely not going to try and pull a binder with that thing? Laughing loudly he turned and walked back to his own machine. Such sarcasm had a profound effect on our duo. As Robert McGucken recalled: “That day we pulled out all the stops. The light weight of our little tractor made it very easy to manoeuvre. Even though my helper had only recently left school he found the steering no problem. By the end of the day Robert and his young assistant had finished work and were driving out of the field. The other tractor was still working. even though both fields were about the same size.

In September 1939 Robert McGucken sold his machinery and volunteered for the Royal Air Force. Although tractor 307 has had succes­sive owners it still exists and is now owned by Ferguson Club member Mr Noel Greer of Markethill, Co Armagh in whose capable hands it has been re­stored. No doubt we shall be seeing a lot more of it at future vintage tractor events.
Fifty seven years later the Black’returns to the farming scene on the Ferguson Club exhibition on the Massey-Ferguson stand at the 1989 Royal Show. Dickdowdeswell, long time Ferguson test engineer, stands at the front of tractor.

Photo courtesy Roger Thulbourne

© Leslie Hutchinson (no 166) – 1990 – First published Vol.4 No.1, Spring 1990


Marketing of the Ferguson-Brown/’A’

Marketing of the Ferguson-Brown/’A’, David Markham

The following article has been reproduced from The Ferguson Club Journal, volume 4. No.1, 1990.

1935 was the year in which Harry Ferguson and David Brown reached agreement to manufacture and market the first Ferguson System tractor. The Model ‘A’. Two companies were formed, one with responsibility for engineering and marketing, Harry Ferguson Ltd., the other, David Brown Tractors Ltd., (a subsidiary of David Brown and Sons) with responsibility for the manufacturing side.

Because the new tractor was so revolutionary, and so small, it was vital to convince both farmers and dealers that the System worked and could be of benefit to them. Ferguson therefore embarked on an extensive marketing campaign. This took a variety of forms.

The first public outing for the Ferguson ‘A’ in England took place on Dormington Court Farm near Hereford in May 1936. Here the tractor is performing the classic Ferguson demonstration of tilling a small fenced compound. Not the hop yards at the rear. Does anyone know which field this was in and anyone who was there? Copyright photo courtesy, Institute of Ag. History and Museum of Rural Life, Reading University

Demonstrations
The first public demonstration took place near Hereford at Dormington Court Farm in May, 1936, when Ferguson described his new tractor as being “a revolution in tractor designing”. Other demonstrations followed in Ulster, Eire and Derbyshire. One of the Ulster demonstrations led to the first tractor being sold, No.12 off the production line. This was bought in June, 1936, by Mr R.D. Chambers of Tullynaskeagh, Down-patrick, County Down, on whose farm the demonstration had taken place. Coincidentally, Mr Chamber’s son, John, was a member of Ferguson’s design team!

The new tractor, known simply as ‘the Ferguson’, attracted considerable interest wherever it was shown. The demonstrations were arranged with Ferguson’s usual concern for detail and flair from showmanship (plug leads were taken off and planks thrown under the tractor wheels when ploughing). A common feature of the demonstrations was the cultivation of a roped-off enclosure measuring 6 yards by 4 yards in order to show that every square foot of land could be tilled. This was possible because the unit principle design enabled the tractor and implement to be reversed like a car, making it possible to cultivate the whole of such a small plot without even leaving a wheel mark. The farmer’s response was excellent, and the little tractor proved to onlookers the advantages of the Ferguson System by out-performing heavier, more ¬powerful rivals, especially in difficult conditions. This was the case at a
demonstration at the Rowett Research Institute in Aberdeen; the Institute subsequently placed an order.

On the left – 16cwt and 20hp. On the right 34cwt and 20hp (manufacturers rating).
Little wonder many did not believe!

One aspect of the marketing programme was that Harry Ferguson realised the value of giving demonstrations to well-known personalities in return for the publicity that could be obtained for his machinery. Ferguson himself took charge of these imp0l1ant demonstrations. Demonstrations were given to Lloyd George on his estate at Churt, near Haslemere, Surrey, and to the author, Henry Williamson, on his farm at Stiffkey on the North Norfolk coast. The latter wrote frequently about his tractor in his books (such as ‘The Story of a Norfolk Farm’ and ‘Lucifer before Sunrise’), and his countryside articles for the Daily Express. Despite this publicity, and the fact that ‘free demonstrations without obligation’ were offered, sales were slow.

From late 1938, in an effort to improve sales, some considerable effort was put into building up an export business. Export enquiries were invited, and during 1938 demonstrations took place in Norway which was believed to be a promising market, because in many ways it was ideal terrain for the Model’ A’. Small, very steep fields with many obstructions made it seem uniquely suitable for what the Ferguson System had to offer.

John Chambers on an ‘A’ making a good job of an opening ridge or ‘cop’. Demonstrations like this one in Norway on April 8th 1938 never failed to attract great interest and many, intending to scoff; came away convinced that they had seen the future.

 

Agricultural Shows
Like other manufacturers, Ferguson realised that agricultural shows provided a valuable opportunity to attract buyers. An early consignment was sent to the 1936 Balmoral Show in Northern Ireland. Ferguson Farm Machinery was subsequently exhibited throughout England, Scotland and Wales at all the main shows (the Royal; Smithfield; Highland; Peterborough; Great Yorkshire).

At these shows a number of Medals were awarded to Ferguson-Brown Ltd. for their power farming machinery, and this of course was ideal publicity. In 1938 a gold medal was won at the Isle of Man Show and silver medals at both the Highland Show in Dumfries, and the Peterborough Show.

The Press
Ferguson’s marketing company spent liberally on promotion and advertising. Advertisements aimed at both farmers and dealers were regularly placed in Implement and Machinery Review, Fanner’s Weekly, and Farmer and Stockbreeder, with slogans such as ‘Handsome profits at last’, ‘Monopoly for the distributor’, and ‘It’s easy with the unit principle’. It was stressed that the machinery was all British. Much use was also made of testimonials from satisfied owners, and these appeared both in advertisements and ‘Contact’, the David Brown in-house magazine. A great deal of descriptive literature was produced and made freely available. The main object of the literature was to show that all farm work, whatever the size of the farm, could be carried out by one or more Fergusons as their versatility enabled them to entirely supersede horses.

Ferguson also placed exaggerated claims with the farming press such as ‘extensive demands for Ferguson machinery are being made’. He informed Implement and Machinery Review in May, 1936, that “over a thousand have already been sold”. Consignment photos showing train and shiploads of tractors and implements were sent in to the press. These gave the impression that the tractors and their equipment were selling welI. In truth the machinery was slow to selI, and stocks of unsold tractors were beginning to accumulate. When the inevitable amalgamation of the manufacturing and sales companies took place in June, 1937, it was described in the press an being “a result of the immediate success of the Ferguson hydraulic farm machinery, coupled with the difficulty of meeting demand”.

The training school
In order to encourage sales, and to overcome sales resistance, a special, fully equipped training school was set up by Ferguson at the Huddersfield works in 1936. This was run by Bob Annat, a local farmer’s son. The aim was to improve the standards of servicing, and operation of the tractor, to ensure that their performance was up to scratch. Two week courses were arranged free of charge for. farmers, operators and dealers to learn how to handle, operate and maintain the equipment. Originally the site covered just one acre, but this was eventually enlarged to a 50 acre experimental farm.

From late 1939 onwards, a special effort was made to make known the facilities and the school was widely advertised. Over 400 benefited from the instruction during 1938 alone.

The idea of the training school later became an important part of Massey-Ferguson’s thinking with the present school being set up at Stoneleigh, Warwickshire, in the 1940s.

After-sales service
Every tractor was sold with a six month warranty, covering all defects except those relating to tyres (supplied by Dunlop), and electrical equipment (supplied by British Thomson-Houston). A record card was then kept on every tractor sold. Any problems were noted with urgent service needs receiving the promptest attention. Even if there had been no problems with the equipment, this was still noted on the record card.

In order to give speedy and economic service as welI as demonstrations to their customers (both farmer and trade), Ferguson-Brown Ltd. fitted out a number of Austin 10 vans to serve both these purposes. These were fully equipped inside and even included a whole engine which could be pulIed to the back of the van for inspection.

In spite of the determined marketing efforts, and the superiority of the design, demand for the Model ‘A’ developed slowly. This was partly because many farmers remained doubtful of the virtues of such an unconventional, small tractor, and partly because of the cost of changing to the Ferguson System. The new tractor cost £224, almost twice the price of a Fordson, and to buy a Ferguson meant additional expense for the special implements required (at £26 each) whereas a Fordson would probably suit the existing equipment on the farm (it was possible however to buy the tractor on hire purchase, the first payment being £69, with the balance being paid over 12, 18, or 24 months). A major factor why the market was slow to respond was the mid-thirties was an unfavourable period for the economy, and agriculture in particular.

Harry Ferguson and David Brown could not agree on a solution, and decided to go their own separate ways, Ferguson to join forces with Ford in America, Brown to produce his own tractor. Brown agreed to honour all Ferguson-Brown Ltd. engagements in the way of after-sales service, and David Brown Tractors Ltd. were given a license to selI the remaining tractors in stock.

The partnership ended in January 1939, after only 1350 had been bui1t (compared to some 43,000 Fordsons over the same period). In strictly commercial terms the first Ferguson production tractor had achieved little success, but it did sell welI in parts of Scandinavia, Scotland and the Channel Isles, where its special advantages were most useful. Its importance, however, was twofold: firstly, it has gone down in history as the first production tractor in the world to incorporate 3 point linkage, and hydraulic lift with draft control system; secondly, it put David Brown Tractors Ltd. on the road to becoming a major British manufacturer for agricultural machinery, although they now sadly have become part of the Case-International conglomerate.

One of the last ‘A’s, No.1259, owned by the Ferguson Club’s Executive Officer, at a farm sale in Worcestershire, September 1988. Note the original drawbar stays and original 9¬22 Dunlop rear tyres. This tractor has a very detailed history and will be the subject of a future article in the Ferguson Journal. Photograph by George Field

Originall published in Vol. 4. No.1, 1990, Reprinted in Club Journal No.56 Summer 2007

Footnote: The author asks in the first image caption, ‘Does anyone know which field this was in and anyone who was there?”  There was a reply in the following Journal, issue 57, Winter 2007/2008:

“Re: the question in Journal No.56, ‘does anybody know the demonstration field in which the first public outing in England of the Ferguson ‘A’ took place’? Yes! I, Ian Ferguson, with the owner’s permission, stood in the exact spot. That information was known to me when it was first published in The Ferguson Club Journal, volume 4. No.1, 1990. Having joined the Ferguson Club in 1987 I thought it my duty to make some enquires, which I did at Hereford library where – upon a small inclusion appeared in a 1936 copy of the Hereford Times which read, a meal was held in the Boothhal! auspice of Imperial Motor Co. for some 40-50 influential farmers, where Harry Ferguson gave a speech before proceeding about five miles east of Hereford on the A348 to the demonstration field at Dormington Court, where about 400 people attended. During my enquires by chance I spoke with one of the three boys in the photograph, he remembered the event hut couldn’t remember where. The man with his hand on the post to the left of Harry Fergusons hat, I believe is a Mr Tom Bradstock who farmed with his father at Freetown, which is about three miles east of Dormington Court, well respected breeder of Hereford cattle, still going strong today. This area was good for growing hops and rearing cattle.”


Ford 9N, 2N and 8N Tractors

FORD 9N, 2N and 8N TRACTORS

These tractors which are essentially the ancestors of the Ferguson were built as a result of the famous handshake agreement between Henry Ford and Harry Ferguson.

Ferguson needed a tractor for his famous three point linkage system and after trying a joint venture with David Brown (The Ferguson-Brown) he took in 1938, one of these tractors to the United States, Henry Ford was impressed by the ability of the Ferguson-Brown and agreed that Ford should build a tractor that incorporated the Ferguson Draft Control Hydraulic system.

(Ferguson had worked with a number of American companies who manufactured or sold his Duplex hitch Plough and it was one of these, Sherman Brothers, who made the introductions between Ferguson and Ford. At that time Sherman Brothers were the Fordson distributors in New York)

The new tractor was designed by Ford and the styling followed that of Ford Trucks of the time. In order to keep costs down components were adapted from both the car and truck divisions of Ford. The engine for example being one half of the Mercury/Ford truck V -8 and the electrical system based on an automotive one with coil start ignition. Parts from the car division also included the clutch and front wheel bearings. The truck division providing differential gears and brakes. The tractor went on sale in 1939 at a launch price of $585.00 and 10,000 were sold in the first year.  (It look a John Deere Model G. which cost twice as much, to equal the Ford 9N per acre ploughing rate).

The original tractors featured Aluminium bonnets, horizontal grill bars (like the later Ferguson) and the vertical grill bar was solid and not perforated as on these tractors on show today. These versions are highly collectable today and those owners fortunate enough to have one polish the bonnets to prove they are aluminium!!

The naming of the tractors is quite simple as they refer to the year of manufacture and/or design change.
Thus:
9N Introduced in 1939 and bearing the Ferguson System badge;
2N Introduced in 1942 and bearing the Ferguson System badge;
8N Introduced in 1948′
Prototype 9N Tractor 1938/9 at Greenfield Village & Musuem, Dearborn, U.S.A.
Photograph courtesy G. Walsh, Journal cover Volume 3 No.3. Winter 1989/80

9N foreground 8N background at Drusillas Zoo Park (Ferguson 50th) 1996

The examples you see here of the 9N and 2N were built towards the end of their cycle and the 8N is an early model.

8N Jack Broadley (Restorer) loading up (very tricky)

8N David Bates (Owner)

The 2N was a stripped down Wartime version of the 9N. Early versions eliminated rubber tyres, starters and generators. Wartime quotas were introduced by the American government for the manufacture of tractors and heavy trucks and by re-designating the tractor to a 2N Ford was able to get more tractors into its quota and also achieve a price rise! Before 1942 was out restricted items began reappearing on the tractors and many were supplied with tyres and full electric’s. The steel wheeled and magneto ignition versions are the most desirable for collectors. It should be noted that towards the end of its manufacturing cycle the 2N was almost back to the full specification of the 9N and the tractors were built with whatever components were to hand. The factory parts books do not differentiate between th 9N and 2N.

Mr. David Bates (Owner) admiring his latest 2N with mid-mounted mower

There was a disagreement between the Ford Motor Company, which was now under the leadership of Henry Ford the second, and Ferguson. The new team at Ford cared little for the earlier agreement of for Henry Ford’s statement that he did not care to make a profit on the tractor as he saw it as a way to help America and it’s farmers!! In 1946 therefore Ford advised Ferguson that the agreement was to be terminated within one year. Henry Ford!! instructed his team to build an improved version of the tractor which was launched in 1948 as the 8N. At this time Ford set up a new company (Dearborn Motors) to handle the distribution of the new tractor and implements. In many countries the 8N is affectionately known as the Ford Dearborn.

In 1948 Harry Ferguson commenced a law suit against Ford claiming that the 8N used the patented Ferguson System without agreement or licence. Ford lost the case and was instructed to cease production of the 8N in 1952. An out of court settlement in Ferguson’s favour of $9 million dollars was reached.

In 1953 Ford introduced the Ford NAA and prominent on the bonnet of the restyled tractor was the emblem ‘Golden Jubilee Model 1903-1953’ (celebrating 50 years of the Ford Company) which has become univer­sally known as the Jubilee. It was restyled so that it no longer resembled previous Ford tractors or the recently introduced Fergusons which ‘borrowed’ heavily from the Ford-Ferguson models.

Thus the tractors you see here today played an important part in the development and introduction of the famous and much loved …. Little Grey Fergie!

Our thanks to David Bates for the article and to Dick Heal for the photographs.
Club Journal No. 29, Summer 1998.

9N Portfolio Volume 3 No.3 Winter 1989/90



9N Portfolio Volume 3 No.3 Winter 1989/90


Ford 9N and 2N Specification

“Little known things about a Classic Tractor that changed the world.”
Researched by Robert Brown.

1939 9N
ENGINE: 4 cylinder L head BORE: 3. 187 x 3.75
PISTON DISPLACEMENT: 119.7 cu in COMPRESSION RATIO: 6 to 1 HORSEPOWER: Maximum Belt HP. 23.87 Rated Belt HP 85% of max . 20.29
DRAWBAR: 2-14″ plow capacity with Ferguson hydraulically operated imple­ments. Maximum drawbar without Fer­guson hydraulic system control. 16.9 HP
Rated HP. 75% of maximum 12.68 GOVERNOR: Variable speed, controlled from steering column. working range, up to 2200 rpm .
LUBRICATION: by gear pump supplying direct pressure oiling to crankshaft. camshaft, connecting rod bearings, and timing gears.
CRANKCASE OIL CAPACITY: 6 U.S. quarts
OIL FILTER: replaceable cartridge type of large capacity
IGNITION: Direct-driven battery dis­tributor in unit with coil in waterproof housing. Fully automatic spark advance.
GENERATOR: 6-volt shunt wound with vibrator type voltage regulation.
STARTER: 6-volt conventional type automobile starter with finger operated switch on dash.
BATTERY: 6-volt, 85 ampere-hour capacity. 13 high plates
COOLING: Pump circulation of water through tube and fin type radiator; fan (pusher) 4 blade 16″, belt driven; pump is packless type with pre-lubricated bearings.
COOLING SYSTEM CAPACITY: 14 U.S. quarts
FUEL SUPPLY; welded steel tank carried in engine hood. capacity 9 gal plus 1 gal reserve. Fuel filter is stan­dard equipment.
CARBURETOR: Up-draft, plain tube type of sturdy. dust-proof construc­tion.
AIR CLEANER: oil bath type with dust receptacle easily removed for cleaning. MUFFLER: reverse flow type; fitted as standard equipment to carry exhaust to rear of tractor.
CLUTCH: single dry plate 9″ effective diameter plate. pressure increased by centrifugal force as engine speed is in­creased.
TRANSMISSION: sliding gear, 3 speeds forward ,1 reverse. All shafts mounted on tapered roller bearings. Final Drive: spiral bevel gear with straddle-mounted pinion 6.66 to 1 ratio. Four pinion differential mounted to tapered roller bearings. Drive axle of semi-floating type with axle shaft and wheel hub integral. also carried on tapered roller bearings
DRAWBAR: adjustable type, standard equipment
TRANSMISSION SPEEDS:
Gear Final Gear Reduction
Speed @ 1400 rpm
Low 73.3 to 12.51 mph
Second 57.0 to 13.23 mph
High 24.6 to 17.48mph
Reverse 68.4 to 12.69 mph
STEERING: bevel pinion and twin bevel controlling both front wheels indepen­dently. Tread of front axle adjustable without disturbing any steering connec­tion. Rubber covered steel 4-spoke steering wheel, 18″ diameter
POWER TAKE OFF: shaft extends from rear of axle housing with standard spline end. for fitting to drive shaft of power driven equipment, 509 rpm at engine speed of 1400 rpm. Extra equipment – Belt Pulley carried by self­-contained drive unit quickly attachable to same area of tractor.
BRAKES: 14″ x 2″ internal expanding, two shoe, full energizing type. One simple accessible adjustment. Brakes operating independently on each rear wheel controlled by separate pedals to facilitate short turning.
WHEELS. FRONT: steel disc fitted with 4 x 19 single rib pneumatic tyres on drop centre rim. 26 psi.
WHEELS. REAR: steel disc fitted with 8 x 32 traction tread pneumatic tyres on drop centre rim, 12 psi.
HYDRAULIC IMPLEMENT CONTROL: consists of a 4 cylinder pump supplying 011 under pressure to ram cylinder. Con­trol valve (on suction side of the im­mersed pump) is regulated by hand and automatically. Lever convenient to operator’s right hand gives instant con­trol of implement.
SHIPPING WEIGHT: approximately 2140lbs
WHEELBASE: 70″
NORMAL TREAD: Front and rear, 48″ FRONT TREAD: Adjustable by means of telescoping axle and reversing front and rear wheel discs to 76″ in 4″ steps. REAR TREAD: Adjustable by means of reversible wheel disc and reversible tyre rim to 76″ in 4″ steps.
OVERALL WIDTH: 64″
OVERALL LENGTH: Front tyre fin to end of lower link, 115″
OVERALL HEIGHT: 52″
GROUND CLEARANCE: 13″ under centre, 21″ under axles.
MINIMUM TURNING CIRCLE: 15ft with use of brakes.

THINGS TO LOOK FOR BY YEAR: 1939
Front axle grease fittings face forward. Hood is cast before #4000
PTO and pulley attachment different before #7453
No safety starter
Starter button located next to ammeter Key located next to oil pressure gauge Ignition indicator below ammeter
Left brake pedal same casting as the right pedal
Grill is cast aluminium, horizontal bars Cover (hood top battery) not hinged until #10213
Both hinged and not-hinged available until #13884
Hinged became standard in 1940 at #13885

1940
2 brush generator and cutout, 9N10000A, replaced by 3 brush units, 9N10000B, on 15/3/1940. Safety Starter Switch mechanically interlocked with gear shift lever, introduced at #12500 with some exceptions: 14 trac­tors were produced before #10732 which was the first; then #11148: #11400, #11470, #11497, then several in the #12000’s. After # 12500, there were 43 tractors produced with #12853 being the last of the non-safety starter models.
First ignition key location on the safety start models is in the right hand lower side of dash; second location is in the lower left hand side of dash. 

1941
Hydraulic lift cylinder and hydraulic lift spring were changed at #47020 to heavier duty type.
Left hand brake pedal changed: now has small hoop in it (to facilitate hand use of brake while executing a left hand turn) Front axle grease fittings face rear. Ignition key location again. moved to left top side of steering gear assembly. Rear axle changed to 2-piece riveted assembly.
Transmission case changed at #47508 Transmission Oil Level Indicator changed at #47508
4-blade pusher fan now obsolete 6-blade pusher or pull type takes its place
(Service Bulletin #26, 29 Aug 1940, shows 6-bladed fan #9N8600B is sup­plied where extreme heat is ex­perienced)
Steel grill with solid centre and vertical rods replaces cast aluminium grill Larger. heavy-duty generator assy. 3­brush. introduced at #9N100000C
Steel rear wheel 9N11700 in parts book FORD rear tyres only in size 10 x 28. 4 ply

1942 2N
10 x 28 rear tyres become standard, 8 x 32 optional
Steering housing no longer cast, now made of steel;
Dash, steel at #80769
Steering wheel changed to 3-spoke, exposed spokes.
Stud to hold valve cover changed at #100000 to hold larger cover; cover also changed
No longer any chrome on 2N tractor
Cap and radiator changed to a pressure system at #109502 and now has 12 quart capacity (Service Bulletin # 139. 29 May 1944 indicates current produc­tion tractors are equipped with pressure type cooling system and fan shroud)

1943
Front spindle and spindle arms changed at #109503
Lynch pin and ring became spring-­loaded (the spring loaded lynch pin. now universal the world over, was invented by John Chambers, senior Ferguson engineer. Problems with trash had resulted in the old ring pins jumping out) Crankshaft rachet and hand crank changed
9N starting crank 25. 22″ long and can be used on 9N. 2N. 8N. 1939 to 1952 2N starting crank 24.84″ long used with 2N.

1943-1947
Magneto introduced
Hood panel. right hand side. replaces 9N panel.
(2N panel is to have front choke control rod. magneto tractors only) 9 x 32 rear tyres supplied (fits 8 x 32 rim); 8 x 32 now obsolete.

1944
Front support assembly pin and radius rods changed at #167488
All tractors after #140774 have helical gears with HX stamped on transmission case flange to indicate tractors with helical gears
Tractors #86271 to #168259 produced without intake valve seat insert. W. P . B. (War time controls) restrictions Headlight assembly now equipped with sealed beams

1945
Heavier rear axle housing introduced at #174650

1946
Heavier duty rear axle housing assembly appears to replace RH 9N-40 12-B and 2N-4035. LH 9N-40 13. and 2N­4035. These were the heaviest and had a date stamped on outside. front 2N-4012-A2 RH
2N-4013-A2 LH

1947 (could not find any changes for this year)

I am sure I missed something, and will appreciate it if anyone can bring any missing, incomplete. or incorrect items to my attention. I will try to do the 8N next. They were made for a shorter time but have more changes than the 9N and 2N.

This article is reproduced by kind permission of the 9N-2N-BN NEWSLETTER

Published in Ferguson Club Journal Volume 3 No.2 Autumn 1990


Meadows Engine Ferguson TED20

Meadows Engine Ferguson TED20, Mike Thorne, Journal 52, Spring 2006

It was back in 1998 when doing some research in the Midlands for the 1/18 scale models of the Ferguson LTX tractor which I had produced and ready for sale by April 2000. At this time I had the privilege to meet and talk with many of those people who were involved in its development and field testing. One of the team was Nigel Liney and it was he who told me about other evaluation work being done by Harry Ferguson Ltd when they were looking at the production of a diesel version of the TE20. Apparently they asked three engine manufacturers to offer a suitably sized engine for fitment to the TE20. The thinking behind this was to enable the Ferguson people to have a good opportunity to give each engine installation a thorough and long term assessment.

The three firms asked to supply a unit each were Standard Motor Co. Ltd of Coventry, Frank Perkins Ltd of Peterborough and Meadows Engines Ltd of Wolverhampton.

As the Standard Motor Co did not have a diesel unit in production at the time and were obviously hopeful of securing the contract, so they sought the services of Freeman Sanders who were experts in small diesel engine design, living and worked at Penzance in Cornwall. He had already developed a lightish weight 6 cylinder indirect injection high speed auto motive type of diesel engine and had two built up. One he installed in a Studebaker and the other he installed in a new Alvis TA2 which was supplied to him by the factory but less its normal petrol engine. The general layout of this 6 cyliinder engine is remarkably close to what he eventually helped to develop for the Standard Motor Co. for installation in the TE20 and for some other applications.

The next offering came from F Perkins who by this time 1949/19S0 had in their range a suitable and proven engine in the form of the TA. TA = tractor Application. Perkins had been supplying these engines as kits for retrospective installation in various small tractors i.e. the Allis B thc Ford Ferguson 8N and of course the TE20.

The fact is that Nigel Liney managed to tip the test TE20 converted to diesel with the P3 engine on to it’s back whilst ploughing with a three furrow plough: the driving method with a TED20 was to be flat out in 2nd gear, lift the plough out at the headland and spin through 90° on the independent brake but it did not work too well with the test P3!

The third diesel engine to be evaluated was produced by Meadows of Wolver­hampton and is now the main subject of this article.

The same team of people had also been involved in the testing and evaluation program of the three different models of diesel engines fitted to a normal TE20 Ferguson, as mentioned earlier. Nigel knew where the Meadows one had ended up, in fact at one time he had tried to buy it. So onc afternoon we drove about 6 miles from Nigel’s house to view the tractor. This we did. but the view was very restricted: the tractor was missing part of its front axle and totally engulfed in trees and brambles making it quite impossible to get to it at close quarters. As we drove away I spoke enthusiastically to Nigel that I would really like to buy and restore this Ferguson. Nigel warned me that a connecting rod had broken and gone through the crank case. I was not put off by this ‘little problem’. An offer was duly made to the owner who de­clined to sell: disappointed I accepted the fact, but asked Nigel to keep and eye on it!

The next I heard about the Meadows Engined Ferguson when an article appeared in Vintage Tractor Magazine – of June/July 2004 by coincidence alongside an article Tim Bolton had written about the Coldridge Collection here in Devon – a strange coincidence!

Tim Bolton’s article spawned two issues in his magazine the one just mentioned and Dec/J an 2004/2005. These articles described how the tractor had been bought by engineer and restoration expert David White from near Ormskirk. On taking the tractor back to his works he set about the monumental task of repairing the engine not just the big hole in the side – which by the way had been part of the oil gallery! This had been caused by the breaking of number three connecting rod. David carefully made a pattern to the shape of the missing piece of the crank case and oil way about 9″ long and 31h” at the widest part. From this pattern David had accurately made a piece of cast steel and then he welded it into place on the crank case.

The pattern which was made to repair the crank case.

Next he turned his attention to the crank shaft; which was about I 00 thou undersize on number three pin. The journals were turned down to clean them up metal sprayed to slightly oversize then ground back to their standard size. The hand made connecting rods were in reasonable order except for number three which had to be repaired and rebored to size. David was able to find that Toyota shells fitted the main journals whilst Jaguar thrusts were used on the mains. The shells for the big end bearing were Petter as were the original and replacement pistons: the bores were sleeved and bored back to original size. The CAY series A fuel injection pump had to have new and slightly different bearings/seals fitted so a bit of machining had to be done to the pump body. New elements were fitted at the same time. Sourcing suitable fuel and oil filter elements proved difficult but again Petter parts seemed the most appropriate. It is interesting to note that the oil bath air intake filter is a Donaldson almost exactly the same as fitted to the Ferguson Brown in 1936! The engine is of direct injection design and fitted with a 6 volt electrical system: the starter motor is a Lucas M459 being a simple Bendix drive type unlike the normal pre-engagement type fitted to most diesel engines. I think the Turner Yeoman of England tractor had a similar Bendix drive. Nigel Liney recalls that as part of the winter test program the three diesel engine TE20 were left out overnight in freezing conditions so that in the morning the cold starting characteristics could be assessed. In this area the Meadows did not fare very well, no doubt the 6 volt system was the main cause, to overcome this drawback the test team would light a small fire under the tractor to warm the oil prior to attempting to start the engine: this usually worked. David fitted the tractor with a Heavy Duty 12 volt battery that fits neatly into the original battery carrier, this works well but several attempts have to be made to start it, because as soon as the engine fires the pinion is thrown out of engagement with the flywheel, as we know diesel engines often need a bit of cranking. Being a direct injection design there are no cold starting aids fitted apart from an excess fuel button on the pump and a heater plug on the inlet manifold. So far the tractor starts OK, although it does ‘hunt’ a bit when cold. Oil pressure is very good about 60psi, as is its lugging ability, I am keen to get it coupled up to a three furrow Ferguson plough when the Spring cultivations get underway.

Finishing touches to the restoration.

It is thought that this Meadows engine type 4DC 1/35 was one of a small batch especially built up to meet the requirement of the TE20. It will be noted that the front axle carrier bracket fits very neatly to the front of the engine whilst the rear lines up exactly with the clutch bell housing of the TE20. Interestingly the sump is directly from a Standard Motor Co. petrol engine, as used on a TED20, the fuel tank looks similar but, is obviously a one off and is rather saddled to enable it to fit over the engine and just clear the bonnet. The filler is to the rear of the tank and is fitted with a push and turn type brass cap, but it is retained by a short chain in exactly the same way as the Ferguson screw type cap is. David found on the underside of the bonnet three layers of paint, the base Ferguson light grey, second coat the grey/green it has now been repainted and on top of that Ferguson light grey again. To complete the restoration David had new Meadows name plates made for each side of the tractor as the original had deteriorated badly, but was sufficiently intact to enable replicas to be made. Prior to David White buying the tractor the previous owner had taken the wise precaution to remove the original Meadows badge from the bonnet grill for safe keeping in his house. When the tractor changed hands the original badge was part of the deal. Fearing that if he put the original badge back on the tractor it might go missing, David decided to have a replica made for fitment to the tractor: this is the one you see at the present time.

Following the articles in Vintage Tractor I wrote to David congratulating him on his purchasing and wishing him well with the massive engine restoration project, I also indicated my interest in perhaps buying the tractor if for whatever reason he might wish to sell it. Late October 2005 David phoned me to say he had decided to sell the tractor and hoped I would buy it. We agreed a price on the Wednesday and by the following Saturday David arrived here at Coldridge with the Meadows engined Ferguson on his trailer. I was delighted, a unique tractor I had known about in 1998 had finally come to the Coldridge Collection just over seven years later. Roll on the Spring.

Basic details of this tractor

  • Registration Number KDU 559 first registered 14th September 1950
  • Tractor Number TED 124039 completed 22nd March 1950.
  • Engine Meadows inline’ 4-cylinder overhead valve direct injection type DC 1/35.
  • Bore and stroke 80mm x 110mm
  • Capacity 2212cc.
  • Fuel Pump CAV type 17A with pneumatic governor
  • 6 volt electrics with 12 volt battery!

Any further information on this project would be most welcome just phone Mike on 07966 328 600.

Photographs by Mike Thorne, Tim Bolton and David White. Thanks to Tim and David for the information and being so helpful.

Mike Thorne, first published in Journal 52, Spring 2006.