From steam engines and vintage tractors through to GPS
George Thurlow and Sons supplied steam engines and threshing tackle all over the country, and this led to them becoming one of the country’s leading distributors. From steam the company moved into agricultural machinery and is now one of the leading Massey Ferguson distributors in Europe.
Retaining these historical connections is very important to the family and at the annual shows the collection of vintage tractors is proudly displayed.
Massey Ferguson MF35XIn the United Kingdom, the MF35 was launched on 1 October 1956 and was originally marketed as the Ferguson 35 (FE35).
The FE35 was a successor to the Ferguson TE20, which ceased production in the same year. Whilst the TE20 had been an all-grey tractor (earning it the nickname Little Grey Fergie), the FE35 had a grey shell and wheels, but a bronze finish for the body, leading to it becoming known as the "Gold Belly".
In 1957, after 73,655 units had been produced, the tractor was re-badged as the MF35, and the colour scheme was changed to red and grey. In 1959 Massey Ferguson purchased Perkins Engines, and began using a new diesel Perkins engine in the MF35. De Luxe models had a dual clutch, allowing the user to disengage the rear wheels while keeping the power take-off and hydraulic pump engaged.
On 8 November 1962 the company launched the MF35X, which had an increased power output and the additional "multi-power" system, which allowed the driver to shift up or down a gear ratio without using the clutch.
Although production in England reached over 45,000 units the following year, it ceased in 1964, when it was succeeded by the Massey Ferguson 135. Over its eight-year production run, 388,382 units were produced.
Massey Ferguson 35X
Massey Ferguson MF 135The Massey Ferguson 135 (MF 135) was introduced in 1964 as part of the Massey Ferguson 100 series of world wide tractors to replace the ageing Massey Ferguson 35 that was a updated Ferguson FE-35 design from the 1940s. The Massey Ferguson 100 series was introduced to be a world wide range to replace the former Massey-Harris and Ferguson tractors, many of which were still based on pre-war designs.
The basic design was still a development of the Ferguson design. It had a Perkins or Continental engine. The model was introduced in the USA, first built at MF's Detroit plant. The UK version was built at Coventry and was designed around the Perkins 3-cylinder engine. The design also moved to a 12 speed gearbox.
Rear lift: 1292kgs Tractor weight: 1728kgs max 2WD, 45.5 HP Perkins AD3.152 engine
Massey Ferguson MF135
Massey Ferguson MF 65As a direct consequence of Ford and Nuffield producing a 50hp tractor, Massey Ferguson needed to compete and the Coventry-built 65 started production in 1958, fitted with a Perkins 4.192 engine.
The Multi-Power specification was added in to tractors from 1962 when the Perkins A4-203 engine was fitted.
This tractor is the first MF65 sold by George Thurlow & Sons Ltd and has spent all of its life in Suffolk. Year of manufacture: 1958 Made on Monday 19th May 1958 during the nightshift. We understand that 90 tractors were made on that shift.
Massey Ferguson MF65