Orange Nuffield 3/42  tractor from 1957, England, three cylinders, 39 HP

The Nuffield Universal was a tractor produced from 1948 by the Agricultural Division of Morris Motors, later a subsidiary of The British Motor Corporation Limited (BMC). When William Morris the founder of Morris Motors was honoured with a title and elevated to the peerage he chose the name of his Nuffield, Oxfordshire village. When in 1948 the Morris Motors Agricultural Division launched its tractor range, the name Nuffield was chosen to be the brand name for the company’s agricultural products. The design was similar to the new David Brown built tractors as the designer Dr. Merit had also worked on the design of the David Brown 50D before moving to Nuffield. Nuffield were part of the amalgamations that created British Leyland in 1968, becoming part of Leyland Tractors.

In 1945 as part of post World War 2 recovery plans, the British Government approached the Nuffield Organisation suggesting that they design and manufacture a new all-British tractor. Having given this due consideration, Morris Motors Limited vice chairman Sir Miles Thomas announced to the I.S.M.A at Hull in 1946 “Nuffield to Make Tractors”.

Designed by former David Brown tractor designer Dr. H E Merritt, who had been involved in tank design during the war, tractor manufacture was to be undertaken at the former Wolseley factory in Birmingham as car production had recently been moved to Cowley, and by May 1946 a prototype tractor had been produced. A further 12 prototypes were produced before the end of that year culminating in a demonstration in Pershore in December. Due to steel shortages, production started in 1948 with the Nuffield Universal tractor being launched at the Smithfield Show in December of that year. The tractors were produced in a bright red-orange officially referred to as “Poppy Orange” and similar in hue to the colour of American Allis-Chalmers tractors.

3/42 and 4/60 versions

Built from 1961 to 1963 or 1964. All tractors built at Bathgate in Scotland from 1962.

3/42 2.8L 3-cylinder diesel producing 39.2 horsepower (29.2 kW)

Export 3/42 models had a 2.55L engine with vacuum governor like the 3DL.

4/60 3.8L BMC ‘OE4’ 4-cylinder diesel engine. Produced by increasing the bore of the 3.4L engine from the 4DM.

The Marc Vidal Automobile Museum and its collection

Read more: Tractors and special equipment with Boris Willson ...