British Tractors 1960s:David Brown,Fordson,John Deere i

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Tractors of the 1960s

This is one of many illustrated classic tractor guides I've created for the community. I hope you enjoy it. If you wish to find out more about the classic tractor art featured in this guide please click here.

By the 1960s the diesel-powered tractor had virtually replaced all other forms of motive power on the farm. The major manufacturers now offered a much larger range of tractor models than previously, in many cased sold and built on a global scale. The majority of tractors were two-wheel-drive, with a wheel at each corner, but some were of track-layer design and a few specialist firms offered conversions of leading maker's wheeled models into crawler or four-wheel-drive format.

Allis-Chalmers Ed-40

The final British-built Allis-Chalmers tractor was the ED 40. Produced from 1960 at Essendine, Lincolnshire, not far from the home of Marshall, it used the Standard 23C four-cylinder, 40-horspower diesel engine previously used in the first Ferguson 35s. Whilst being a serviceable tractor, the ED40 faced stiff competition from other makes during the sixties and despite its unique and attractive styling it did not have sufficient appeal to achieve satisfactory sales. By 1966 it had faded away, Essendine factory closing altogether in 1968.

International B-414

The new International B-414 tractor was introduced in July 1961. Offering 43bhp, the model used an 8-speed forward gearbox and was easily recognisable with its distinctive white wheels and grille panels. From 1964 it was followed by a more powerful and similarly styled model, the B-614 which produced 65.5bhp. July 1968 saw the B-614 replaced by the 66bhp 634. This was not the end of the B-designation however, as the faithful International B-450 continued until 1970 in both two and four-wheel-drive form.

John Deere 4020

John Deere closed out its time-honoured line of two-cylinder tractors by bringing out its "New Generation" models in 1960. For several decades, Deere had been the only remaining manufacturer using a two-cylinder engine, but the demand for increased power levels had pushed this style beyond its practical limits.  The new line included the 1010, 2010, 3010 and 4010, the latter three being available in gasoline, propane and diesel versions. The 4010 used the six-cylinder engine (four-cylinders for the small models) All had standard power steering although the 3010 and 4010 also had power brakes as standard equipment and hydrostatic power steering.

Fordson New Performance Super Dexta

The year 1957 marked Ford of UK's return to the compact tractor market with the new 3000lb Dexta. With a squat, low stance, and a low centre of gravity, the Dexta was rated at 32hp and had a hydraulic three-point hitch. The Dexta used a 144ci three cylinder Perkins diesel engine, coupled to a three-speed with a two-range gearbox giving six forward speeds and two reverse. Live power take-off and hydraulics were options. The New Performance Super Dexta was an up-rated Dexta introduced in 1962 offering more power.

Massey-Ferguson 135

In line with the trend towards unified product lines in the tractor industry, Massey-Ferguson introduced a completely new range of models in 1965, now with unified styling and specifications. Massey-Ferguson tractors, whether built in the Eastern or Western hemisphere were virtually the same, although demand for Gasoline engines in the USA meant that Continental engines still appeared in these models. For 1965 there were four models in the new 100 Series available in Britain. The MF135, which replaced the 35, the MF165 replacing the 65, the MF175, a new model with a Perkins 4.236 engine and the MF130, the smallest model in the range and an update of the old MF30 built in France.

David Brown 780

October 1965 saw the introduction of a whole new range of models in the colour scheme of orchid white and metallic chocolate brown, to mark the introduction of the 990, 880 and 770 Selectamatic tractors. The 770 was the smallest model in the range and was the first model to be fitted with the Selectamatic hydraulic system. It was powered by 37bhp 3-cylinder diesel engine and used a 2-lever, 12-speed gearbox as standard equipment. It success led to the Selectamatic system being used on the 880 and 990 models, along with multi-speed PTO and differential lock.

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