Massey Harris was formed in 1891 in Toronto Canada from a merger of two companies who manufactured farm implements. The popular tractor they initially produced was the Model 25 which was available in the 1930s and 40s. Another Massey tractor of the same era was the 101 which was driven by a 24hp Chrysler in-line six cylinder engine together with the Twin Power Challenger powered by a 4 cylinder 36hp engine. The company chose a red and straw yellow colour scheme for its tractors produced in the 1930s. The company brought out a new range of tractors in 1947 which were Models 11, 20, 30 and 55 which were added to the model 44, more than 32,000 Model 30 tractors were made before 1953 when the company merged with Ferguson.
Massey Harris Pony
The tractor built in the largest numbers by Massey-Harris prior to the merger was the Massey Harris Pony, this was a small tractor and proved popular in overseas markets than the domestic markets of North America, where it was considered too small for many farming applications. It was manufactured and assembled in the Canadian Woodstock plant from 1947 and then the Marquette in France from 1951, in a decade more than 121,000 Pony tractors were produced, the initial version of the Pony was powered by a four cylinder Continental engine driving a three speed transmission with one reverse gear, its top speed was 7miles per hour and produced 11hp. The Pony was a basic tractor in its initial form but was refined and upgraded over the life of its production run. Canadian production was ceased in 1954, but in 1957 the 820 Pony was offered by the French factory with a German made Hanomag diesel engine and a five speed gearbox. The launch of the Pony 821 in 1959 carried further refinements. The French factory produced around 90,000 of the Pony tractors produced, this was Massey Harris’s first real European sales success.
Massey Harris 745 Powered by Perkins Engine
The post-war Model 44 proved a success in the United States where 90,000 were made at Racine, Wisconsin, it featured the rounded pre-body styling but was mechanically new, there was a choice of four-cylinder engines that used either petrol, paraffin or diesel. This model was chosen as its tractor to enter the UK market and started production of them in Manchester in 1948 although operations were moved to north to Kilmarnock, Scotland, this was largely an assembly operation with CKD parts imported from Racine. Around 17.000 were manufactured in total of which 11,000 were offered with a Perkins engine variant between 1954 and 1957 in Kilmarnock, called the 745, before production was halted in 1957 after the merger with Ferguson, the merged company was renamed Massey-Ferguson where a new line of tractors was introduced.
The original Ferguson tractor company evolved from an arrangement made with David Brown and later a partnership between Harry Ferguson and Henry Ford. Harry Ferguson had installed the innovative three-point hitching system on David Brown Tractors. Following this he subsequently made a deal with Henry Ford through a ‘handshake agreement’ although Ford and Ferguson later went their separate ways, although litigation followed when Ferguson opened its own Detroit factory. Ferguson claiming that Ford had used the Ferguson system on its 8N tractors which was considered a violation of Harry’s patent. Ferguson won the case receiving considerable damages from Ford for patent infringement and loss of business.
The new line of Ferguson tractors included the TE and TO models, TE was an acronym for Tractor England whilst TO was Tractor overseas, both models were not dissimilar to the Fordson 9N but had a more powerful engine with a fourth gear ratio. Ferguson came to an arrangement with John Black of the Standard Motor Company in Britain to produce a new tractor in his factory in Coventry, tractor production started in 1946 using an imported Continental engine, in 1947 Standard’s own engine was fitted with a diesel model offered in 1951. The first Ferguson tractor produced was the TE20/TO20, over 500,000 TE20’s were built in Coventry from 1946-56 whilst some 60,000 TO20’s were built in Detroit during 1948-1951. The TE20 was nicknamed the “Grey Fergie” a reference to both its designer and its drab paintwork. It became enormously popular as the Tractor icon of British farms. In August 1951 Ferguson released the TO30 and the TO35 painted beige and metallic green launched in 1954, Ferguson sold the company to Massey-Harris in 1953 where he took USD 16 million of shares, in 1957 Ferguson resigned from involvement with Massey-Harris-Ferguson and the company changed its name to Massey Ferguson.
Once Harry Ferguson had sold his tractor company to Massey-Harris the face of tractor manufacturing was significantly changed forever, before the merger The Massey-Harris company had been competing with both Ford and Ferguson, for a short while the newly formed company produced two separate lines of tractors continuing with both Massey-Harris and Ferguson makes as both tractors had loyal followers amongst dealers and customers. The MH50 and Ferguson 40 had different bodywork but were mechanically identical based on the Ferguson 35. Following the resignation of Harry Ferguson the new Massey-Ferguson company produced its first "Red and Grey" Tractor, the Model MF35 which was powered by a Perkins engine. This model was produced in Canada and produced at manufacturing sites all around the world. The all new MF35 was followed quickly by the MF50, MF65 and MF85. In 1976 Massey introduced the 1505 and 1805 models both powered by a 174hp Caterpillar V8 engine. In the mid 1980’s the 3000 series of machines was launched available with a turbo diesel 190 hp six cylinder engine, the smaller MF398 was also launched powered with a Perkins 3867cc 4.236 Perkins engine.
Two Massey Ferguson tractors launched in 1986 were the Models 2685 (powered by a 5800 cc 6.354 Perkins engine which was also fitted to the 2005 model range 2645, 2685 and 2725) and Model 699 which was the most powerful of the MF600 series containing models 675, 690, 698T and 699 which was powered by a 100 hp engine.
Massey Ferguson itself became part of AGCO in 1994, according to MF for 33 years more people have purchased MF tractors than any other brand. Massey Ferguson current range is comprehensive and includes tractors offering:
- 130-190 PTO hp, the 8100 series high performance tractors
- 86-110 PTO hp
- 55-95 PTO hp, the 4200 series range of tractors
- 34-67 PTO hp, the 200 series featuring Perkins engines.
- 37-53 PTO hp
- 16-40 PTO hp, the 1200 series
Here at Engine Fix UK we cover the vast majority of the Massey Ferguson range from early to modern day engines, we supply all the major mechanical engine parts including pistons, piston rings, liners, gaskets, crank seals, gasket sets, valve train parts, water oil and fuel pumps plus much more.