Fordson Tractors have been here in the UK for a long time, we might mistake them as being British but they have in fact US roots. Fordson Tractors were manufactured by Henry Ford & Son inc from 1917 to 1920 and by Ford Motor Company US form 1920 -1928, and by Ford Motor Company Ltd from 1929 – 1964.
The Fordson Major
In 1945 it was the arrival of the first Fordson Major. This tractor was significantly taller than the models that had gone before. The Fordson Major remains so well-known here in the U.K. that we usually just refer to it as “the Major”. Diesel tractors were desirable in this time period and the Major had a good reputation in that respect, and it soon became the tractor of choice for farmers who wanted a good, strong, reliable workhorse. Whilst that increase in size and power was clearly the way forward, there was still a massive demand for smaller tractors.
The Fordson Dexta
The Fordson Dexta was manufactured from 1957 to 1964. A smaller tractor new three-cylinder version which had been launched to compete with the success of the Massey Ferguson 35, of which it shared the basic engine, gearbox and differential casings as well as many other parts. The Dexta is the sort of tractor that people look at and say “ahhh,” because it is a neat, well-made little tractor that in today’s world of giants looks for in a tractor.
Fordson also produced the Power Major in 1958 and the Super Major in 1960. Visually, the look remained the same as the Major, with the rounded bonnet, the bright blue tin work and the orange wheels. It is a look that’s instantly recognisable.We see all sorts of unusual Fordson Majors here in the U.K., but it is the standard models — the Major, the Dexta, the Super Major and the Power Major — that remain both popular and affordable. The strength and reliability of the Fordson Major led to its popularity, but such mainstream and widespread tractors rarely command the high prices that the more unusual machines do. Fordson Major tractors might be rather an everyday sight over here, but that means of course that they were a massive success and that’s something both us Brits and you Americans should be rightly proud of.
My very talented Father, David Thompson, has restored these three family Fordson tractors (that you see in this post) back to their glory. We decided to showcase them in our local Torchlight Carnival you can read about it HERE. I’m proud of what my fathers done with these tractors and it felt a privilege to drive the Dexta in the Carnival. Below is the before and after photograph of the Fordson Dexta.
© Louise Thompson Photography 2016, all rights reserved.