This Ferguson tractor story comes straight from Harry Ferguson’s grandson, who tells of a 60Hp Ferguson tractor which never made it into full production.
This information came from Vintage Tractor Engineer’s farming neighbour. The neighbour was looking to buy some dairy cows and a whole herd was advertised on the Isle of White. It turned out that the seller of the cows was none other than the grandson of Harry Ferguson, who runs a Ferguson museum on the island as well as Harry Ferguson Farms LTD at Kings Manor, Freshwater.
VTE’s neighbour was told the story of a Ferguson tractor that never went into production. Clearly the Massey Ferguson 35 was a successful tractor and Harry wanted to capitalise and improve on the machine by introducing a 60Hp version for the larger farms. The story goes that 6 of these prototype tractors were manufactured and sent out onto farms. This happened at the time after Ferguson had sold out to Massey Harris and all tractors were now been sold under the Massey Ferguson brand (2007 is 50 years of Massey Ferguson). Harry was delighted with the new 60Hp version and expected the model to outsell all other competition and propell Massey Ferguson into a league above all the other tractor manufacturers. At this time though, Harry was now only an employee of the Massey Ferguson Corporation and did not have the final say any more over tractor production decisions. The company chiefs decided to shelve the 60Hp Ferguson designed tractor in favour of their own Massey Harris designed tractor.
Sadly, of the 6 prototype tractors, 5 were recalled to the factory where they were broken up. The 6th one remained out on farm and was forgotten about. The farmer had bought the tractor and it was so reliable that it ran for many years without needing any repairs or new parts. One day the tractor had a fault and so the owner sent it in to the local MF dealers to be repaired. They had seen nothing like it before and did not know that the model had ever existed. When the dealer enquired to the factory the factory offered to take back the prototype and supply the farmer with a brand new Massey Ferguson tractor and of course the farmer was highly delighted that he had been able to swap his old tractor for a brand new one.
Now for the sad part of this story. That 6th tractor was also broken up by the factory and any traces of the model’s existence were destroyed. One wanders what would have happened had Massey Ferguson gone with the Ferguson design in favour of the Massey Harris designed 65. Harry Ferguson was a man who not only understood the tractor market, but also knew his design would be a huge success. Apparently Harry was of the opinion that Massey Ferguson would have killed off most of the competition from other tractor manufacturers if the company had brought the 60Hp Ferguson into production.
This is the story that Vintage Tractor Engineer has been told. If you have any more info then leave a comment. Maybee you helped design the tractor, maybee you have driven one, or possibly you have a photograph? Let us know.
John Deere says:
February 11th, 2008 at 3:08 pm
Dunno about Massey Ferguson ! More of a John deere Man myself
Haukur Júlíusson says:
February 16th, 2008 at 11:10 am
It is very surprising and interesting story.
I agree that the old MF 65 from 1958 is very unlike his little brother MF 35 from that time, especially
in styling and the steering method.
kevin hall says:
June 1st, 2008 at 4:34 pm
hello I had heard this story before but didnt know it came from harry fergusons grandson . very intresting. My fathers owns a small collection of massey, one of which is the first te20 diesel 200001 s/n i am trying to find any history on this tractor any help would be greatfully recieved
The Vintage Tractor Engineer says:
June 4th, 2008 at 6:23 pm
What a piece of history to own. Maybee we should write a report on the tractor and see if anyone knows anything about it.
kevin hall says:
June 9th, 2008 at 6:30 pm
that sounds like a great idea thanks ill get some pics on my computer and email you thanks kevin
Pink Miss America Depression Glass says:
June 24th, 2008 at 2:27 pm
Cool article, I fell in love with vintage tractors when I decided to restore my Grandpa’s old Super B. Its been great fun and hopefully I’ll have it finished soon
August 21st, 2008 at 4:27 pm
Hi All, Please can anybody help me, Im very confused, I have a 1947 Massey Harry Ferguson and it is a diesel, I thought the diesel didnt come out till 1951, can anybody help me. Thanks Penny…..
Colin Taylor says:
September 2nd, 2008 at 3:34 pm
just to follow up on pennys query about the 47 diesel model, it might well be a 3 cylinder perkins p3 conversion????
October 29th, 2008 at 7:16 pm
thanks never knew tht and i was wondering if anybody knew where to get more info on a perkins p3 conversin engine and its wiring to the engine mainly ?