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The first stop for information on Nuffield, Leyland and Marshall Tractors. All comments and suggestions are welcome. Please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org
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In 1963 the last Nuffield 4/60 built at Ward End in Birmingham came off the production line. Its chassis number was T41481. It’s thought it was exported to Australia. Does anyone know of its whereabouts and whether it’s still in existence? Any information should be sent to the email address above.
In the ‘Link’ section a supplier of Nuffield and Leyland parts, both new and used, for the USA has been added.
Also in the news section – John Poulter is looking for information on three prototype Mini or Nuffield 4/25 tractors.
Mike Etzel’s Nuffield ‘Mini’ 4/25 restoration project
Mike Etzel grew up on the family farm in Iowa, USA, and learned to drive a Ferguson TO 30. Although his father left farming in 1963 he had cousins who farmed near his family home so was able to help out during his years at school. Thirty years later he is now living on a small farm a mile from his parents house, the land has belonged to his family for 100 years. Whilst looking for a way to clear the snow each winter he found a Ferguson TO 20, after a blade was mounted his problem was solved. During a minor restoration he discovered his tractor was a 1948 model, this lead him to dig deeper into its history and became involved with the ‘Ferguson Enthusiasts of North America’ club. Through this group he met two English Ferguson enthusiasts and was able to visit the UK in 2007.
He was taken to the Malvern Show where he saw a BMC Mini tractor for the first time. He was hooked! He loves old British vehicles and owns a ’73 Mini, a ‘02 Mini, an ‘11 Mini and rides a Triumph Rocket 3. A BMC Mini 4/25 tractor would fit his collection just fine so he had to have one! On returning to the USA he located a suitable one in Florida, it was well worn but had potential. Mike made the trip to Florida with his pick-up truck, fortunately the 4/25, badged as a ‘Long’, just fitted inside the bed. (Long Manufacturing imported various Nuffield tractors and sold them as ‘Long’ models) Once unloaded back in Iowa he found the real truth, the sun and humidity hadn’t been kind, the electrics were shot, the wiring rotted and the gauges junk. Fortunately the nuts and bolts, whilst rusted, came free with little effort.
The mudwings were rusted through and the front grill was pushed in. At least the engine turned over with the aid of a wrench (BMC Mini’s and 4/25’s in the USA were fitted with petrol engines). The transmission was free to turn but the steering box was split and rusty, the petrol tank was rusted and the tyres rotted. But he had a 4/25 Mini!
The restoration began quickly, everything was dismantled, cleaned and stored. A long list of ‘New’ parts was made. Parts are much more numerous in the UK than the USA but he made contact with, and became dependent on, Tim Blackburn of http://www.bmcminitractor.co.uk/ On finding a salvage yard 300 miles from home he sourced a number of parts from a Leyland 154 before it was scrapped.
The BMC 1600cc engine was used in MGA cars therefore parts were easy to find and after calling a USA based supplier everything he needed was delivered. The rebuild was a simple re-ring and bearing job – new valves were fitted after the seats were resurfaced.
A second hand fuel tank was sourced from a breaker in Texas, it was off a 154 and didn’t have a petrol level gauge. This problem was overcome by cutting the old one out of his rusted tank and refitting it to the 154 tank. The finished tank was then sent off for cleaning and sealing, job done! The radiator was also sent way for repair and painting. The front axle pivot bearing was badly worn, after a new one was fitted the pin was welded up and machined to fit, another job done!
The hydraulic unit was in bad condition with a number of welds here and there. The top link was rusted solid, it was soaked in penetrating fluid, and finally came free in the Autumn of 2015 after 7 years of applying heat and more fluid. The brakes were worn out and required new discs, new ones were obtained but were too thick, after another visit to the UK he picked up a new set from Tim.
Now 7 years after the restoration started, parts had been sand blasted, repaired, painted and stored. Two more visits to Malvern had been made and a set of UK number plates obtained, but with the engine untested, wheel rims in primer and no new tyres bought Mike was at a standstill!
In talking to a friend who lived 200 miles away in central Iowa, the subject of tractors came up, unknown to Mike his friend had a Nuffield 4/25! He quickly went to view it. Fitted with grassland tyres, a loader and non standard bonnet it had issues similar to his own tractor, however the mudwings were in good condition! His friend called Mike in the autumn of 2014 to see if he wanted to buy the 4/25. Numbers were discussed but no agreement was reached. To Mikes’ surprise his friend called him again in late summer 2015 and asked him if he was willing to honour the price he had previously offered! Mike said yes and the 4/25, less loader, was his. When he got it home he discovered that the serial numbers on the two tractors were only 18 apart!
Although similar problems existed on both tractors Mike decided to use the Florida tractor as a donor for his latest purchase. With so many parts available plus numerous new parts sourced from the UK, Ireland, Canada and other places a semi complete tractor began to take shape.
All the tin work was sent away to a body shop for straightening and painting, new tyres were fitted front and rear. The dynamo, starter and electrics were all sorted out although at one point smoke escaped from a wire feeding the rear lights! A good functioning hydraulic system was fitted using parts from both tractors.
A new seat cushion was locally obtained and modified to fit the Mini’s seat pan, new bonnet badges were bought and fitted to complete the job – as complete as any restoration can be called complete, there are always minor jobs to be done.
Mike’s 7 + year restoration has resulted in a very tidy, very original tractor worthy of all the hard work and money spent and is a credit to his abilities . The tractor will be shown at a number of local shows in Iowa, including the annual Ferguson Enthusiasts Expo to let the Ferguson folk enjoy seeing the results of Harry Ferguson’s research foundation.
In 1989 when a farmer in Herefordshire was looking for a replacement for his Leyland 2100 tractor he decided to purchase an equivalent Marshall. He had owned Leyland’s previously but since Leyland Tractors and Marshall Tractors at Gainsborough no longer existed he approached Marshall Tractors at Scunthorpe to see if he could purchase a new 100 hp tractor. The 100-4 was subsequently built and supplied through F. C. Jackson, Lincolnshire, in January 1990.
After a number of years service it was traded in and eventually found its way to John Charnley and Sons, Chorley, Lancashire. Whilst at Charnley’s the Leyland 6/98NT engine received a T. B. Turbo Kit to boost its power. This raised the power to about 115hp.
In 2001 the tractor was purchased by a contractor in New Zealand and shipped out where it was worked for a period of time. It wasn’t ideal due to lack of air conditioning and was disliked by the drivers. After being traded for a new John Deere it was acquired by a farm machinery supplier where it is currently stored under cover. It’s possible that this ‘Rare’ Marshall will be returning to the UK to work on its owner’s family farm. There isn’t a big classic scene in New Zealand and as is viewed as an ‘Odd Ball’. In the UK it will be appreciated as an important piece of UK tractor history.
For sixteen years John Poulter has been involved with the restoration and building of many of the Nuffield/Leyland small tractor range since buying his first BMC Mini 9/16 in 1999 after a meeting with the Nuffield Club founder, the late John Harlow. Like many tractor enthusiasts, his passion on occasions became obsessive and in recent years directed towards the prototype tractor that became the BMC Mini 9/16 which was designed and built by Harry Fergusons’ Tractor Research Company in Coventry. From reading about the first prototype, called the Tractor Research Mk 1 and registered 495 EUE, the author has located nine of the original fifteen tractors and three of the larger engine conversions, being responsible for the restoration of four. This book is the story of the search for the tractors and a technical appraisal of the original design and its development firstly into the BMC Mini 9/16, launched to the public in December 1965 and then the Nuffield 4/25 introduced in December 1968.
This third and final edition of the book is soft back with 114 pages, printed in full colour and packed with photos, some taken during the early field trials in 1962 to 1964.
Copies at £14.50 plus postage will be available direct from the author: phone 01453 547577 or email: email@example.com
Leyland 154 Tractor with front loader and backhoe
During the 1970’s Leyland 154 tractors became very popular in Australia, this was due to their compact size and versatility. Many were fitted out with a heavy duty front end loader, backhoe and crankshaft oil pump. It may seem strange that a small tractor like the 154 should be fitted out in this way. The answer lies in its compact size and light weight, they were used to dig out swimming pools which were becoming increasingly popular. But why the 154? Due to its size and weight it could be lifted by crane over the top of houses into the back yard where the pool was to be located. When the hole was dug out the tractor was simply lifted out and taken to the next job.
The picture shows a typical 154 in highway yellow livery. Even today Leyland 154’s in Australia are in high demand and attract top Dollar!
Nuffield 3/45 from Sweden.
Tommy Westman, from Sweden, bought his Nuffield 3/45 in August 2012, its had four previous owners and was originally registered on the 30th of November 1970. The “Tipp Topp” Swedish cab was made by Hambergs Bil & Mek, and the front end loader is a Swedish Källve model. The cab and front end loader have been on the tractor since new,
The tractor is in good running condition and is in daily use. Tommy has restored the electric system so that all the lamps, gauges, direction indicators and the windscreen wiper are now working. To bring the cab up to scratch a new roof was sourced and fitted.
When Tommy bought the 3/45 it had only about 4600 hours on the clock! The previous owner had died in 1991 and the tractor was laid up for the next 21years.
This winter the Nuffield was used for snow clearance work and in the forest to bring home wood and logs for the fire. Tommy also uses it to deliver hay to his horses. In a Swedish Tractor book Tommy read that the 3/45 and 4/65 versions of Nuffield didn’t sell very well! Journalists and Farmers stated that the Nuffield was badly constructed! Tommy doesn’t agree with that, the only thing he misses with his Nuffield is the lack of power steering! When he uses the front loader for moving snow the steering gets very heavy and it takes a lot of muscle to steer it.
Although there aren’t many Nuffield Tractors in Sweden this is Tommy’s first one, he had a BM 35 (Bolinder Munktell) 1952 diesel before it. Other tractors that he has owned were a Volvo T22 1949 with a kerosene engine, a MAN Ackerdiesel and a German built Farmall restoration project, he has now sold them all leaving the Nuffield as his only tractor.
The Nuffield Universal Four with reversed drive is located about 40km from Tommy’s home, nothing is known about it but it is in good condition and appears to be in use for clearing snow.
Welcome to the official Nuffield and Leyland Tractor Club Web Site
This very rare picture has been unearthed from the archives and show a Nuffield tractor converted to a Crawler by Cantatore of Italy, it’s probably from 1961.
Here are some new pictures from the archives of the BMHIT, they show a brief history of the Bathgate Tractor production facility from 1962 to 1977. All pictures Copyright BMHIT.
This is the first tractor off the production line at Bathgate in 1962, it’s a Nuffield 3/42. See how clean the floor is and how uncluttered the background! It’s not clear why the tractor has ‘Road Tyres’ fitted rather than agricultural tyres like the tractors behind.
By 1965 the Nuffield 10/60’s was being produced, this one, with flanged axles, is approaching the point where the wheels are to be fitted.
Queen Elizabeth visited Bathgate in 1968, she was driven around in a modified Land Rover. Here we see her viewing the machine shop in ‘B’ Block prior to visiting the tractor production facility in ‘C’ Block.
In 1977 the design of the tractor had changed dramatically, this 245 with a three cylinder Perkins engine is fitted with a ‘Q’ cab, required by law in many countries, to prevent excess noise damaging the drivers ears. Many changes had to be made to the production line to allow these tractors to be built.