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Fordson Ireland History

By richard - Posted on 09 December 2008

By 1921, Fordson tractors represented about half of the tractors sold in the U.S. Henry Ford, however,adamantly refused to improve his tractor. Although he made more than 100,000 Fordsons during 1923 and again in 1925, the glory days of the crude little Fordson, with its iffy ignition and lack of a governor, were coming to and end in this country, signaled by the 1924 introduction of the all new Farmall row crop tractor manufactured by International Harvester Co. February 1928 was the end of fordson production after 739,977 Model F tractors had been built in the U.S. A new Model N with a more powerful engine, high-tension magneto and flyball governor was introduced in 1930. In 1935, the Fordson was again improved, although the basic design still dated to 1917, with an optional PTO, rubber tires and lights available. Henry Ford and Harry Ferguson shook hands and introduced the famous Ford-Ferguson 9N in the U.S. in mid-1939. However, just months later in September, England went to war with Germany. That meant materials and machine tooling were dedicated to the war effort and none were available to convert Ford's Dagenham plant to production of the new 9N model. By the time World War II started, Ford was the largest manufacturer of tractors in the U.K. The company continued to build the venerable Model N through-out hostilities. As 1945 dawned and the war's end approached, Ford of England (and everyone else) realized the Fordson N was obsolete, with its 1917 styling and 1930 engine and transmission. In the spring of 1945, the new Fordson Major was introduced to tractor-starved British farmers. Ford gave it the designation E27N; E for English, 27 for 27 horsepower, and N for tractor. The old 4-cylinder, side-valve engine with a 4.125-by-5inch bore and stroke and splash lubrication was run at a higher rpm in order to provide enough additional horsepower to make the Major a 3-plow tractor. The only concession Ford made to streamlining was to round off the front a little and hide the radiator behind a vertical bar grille. More than 23,000 E27Ns were powered from new (or repowered) Perkins diesel engines after Frank Perkins converted a Fordson Major for his own use. More than 233,000 were built between 1945 and 1952. Few E27Ns found their way to the U.S. An interesting blend of the old and the new, the stopgap Fordson Major E27N was built until 1952 when it was replaced by the Super Major E1A diesel, many of which were imported into the U.S.