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Successor David Brown
Founded 1934
Founder(s) David Brown and Harry Ferguson
Defunct 1939
Headquarters Belfast, Ireland
Products agriculture machinery tractor
Parent Ferguson
David Brown
Ferguson-Brown 1936 - Newark VS-IMG 3736
Model history
Model introduced 1934
Model discontinued 1940
Model status Discontinued
Engine Specification
Engine make Coventry Climax
David Brown
Power hp 20
Cooling system Water
Transmission Details
Transmission type Unknown
Drive 2WD
Linkage Category Unknown
Other info
Factories England
Plow rating Unknown
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The Ferguson-Brown joint venture started selling tractors in 1936 based on Harry Ferguson's Ideas and built by the David Brown company Ltd of Huddersfield in England.


Harry Ferguson built a prototype tractor in Belfast called the Black Ferguson. It served as the model for the Ferguson-Brown Model A. In about 1934, in partnership with engineer David Brown, Harry Ferguson formed the Ferguson-Brown Company and they produced the Ferguson-Brown Model A tractor. This was a light weight tractor with a Ferguson-designed hydraulic system. Ferguson surmised that the tractor hitch was the key to having a better plough and a simpler tractor attachment for it. This was the first tractor to have an OEM three point hitch system. He had spent 30 years developing his ideas.[1]

The early models had Coventry Climax engines, with the latter ones having David Browns own engine fitted. The tractor was built with an alloy gear box and Bell housing body to keep weight down, as one of Fergusons ideas was that the tractor should be light. Some were build with stronger alloy casings after breakages, but Ferguson would not swap to a cheaper (& stronger) steel casting to cure the problem.

The Ferguson-Brown was expensive against the rival machines such as the Fordsons, as special implements were required to operate with it, rather than the old horse drawn ones that could be used with the other makes. Brown decided to re design the tractor to reduce costs, but did not consult with Ferguson who had gone to America, this caused a rift between them. One design change that David Brown made was to add a combined PTO - Belt sheave. This was opposed by Ferguson. It is not known how many of the Model As had this feature.

Ferguson Ford PartnershipEdit

Main article: Ford-Ferguson

Henry Ford had started building tractors in 1917 but these early machines did not have the hydraulic mounting for implements that were later to be a feature of the Ferguson TE20 series tractors, they just pulled with the draw bar which could if the plough struck an obstruction result in the tractor rearing up and over turning, in some cases killing the driver. Harry Ferguson started developing his three point hitch system to solve this problem and tried unsuccessfully to interest Henry Ford in partnering with him.

In 1938 Harry Ferguson went to see Henry Ford and demonstrate his new system to him. A plowing (us) competition was staged in Dearborn in America between a Ferguson-Brown Model A with 3 point hitch plough (UK) that Ferguson had shipped to America and a Fordson Model F pulling a trailing plow (US). The Ferguson-Brown outplowed the Fordson Model F. This Model A is the one now displayed in The Henry Ford Museum.

Following this demonstration Harry Ferguson made a handshake agreement with Henry Ford to produce "Ferguson System" Ford tractors incorporating his idea. Henry Ford then started building Ford tractors using the Ferguson linkage and jointly developed the Ford Model 9N, also known as the Ford-Ferguson tractor. Harry Ferguson set up a plant in western Detroit to supply the hydraulic systems for these tractors.

The Ford-Ferguson 9N and the David Brown VAK1 are both based on the Ferguson-Brown Model A. Both models have a rear mounted Power Take Off (PTO). The Ferguson-Brown Model A on display at The Henry Ford Museum does not.

The End Of Ferguson BrownEdit

This resulted in Ferguson terminating his agreement with David Brown, on his return to England on the grounds that Brown had broken the agreement, by design changes introduced whilst he was in America. So in 1939 David Brown introduced the VAK1 tractor. This tractor had been in development in secret at the factory incorporating David Browns updated ideas and changes based on feedback from customers/users of the first tractors.

Main article: David Brown

Model Range and Preserved examplesEdit

  • Ferguson-Brown Model A was the only model built, with slight variations. Such as engine and the HD Casting. It had a 20 horsepower (Template:Convert/engine)
  • A total of 1350 + 1 were Built between 1934 and 1940.[2]
  • It has been claimed that as many as 400 survive !! (If you know of any please ad details to the list with a photo)
List of Known preserved examples of Ferguson Brown tractors
Serial No. Engine Year Reg No. Owner Photo
(click on image for
Large version)
misc info
No. 5 Engine no. 1 1936 BDM 925 Mike Shearstone, Leicestershire Image needed LHB Seen at Newark Tractor Show 2011
No. ? - 1936 - - Ferguson-Brown 1936 - Newark VS-IMG 3736 Steel Wheels version
Seen at Newark VTH show 2008
No. 130 - year reg owner Image needed LHB (1098) Seen at Newark Tractor Show 2011
No. ? - 1936 GVH 674 - See here On
No. 263 Coventry Climax engine no. 1096 1937 -  ? Image needed LHB Sold at Appleby Lodge Farm sale for £11,000 + premium + Vat.[3]
No. 270 - 1937 reg R. Riseborough, Norfolk Image needed LHB (36) Seen at Newark VTH show 2011
No. 353 - 1937 516 XUT A. Irving, Dumfries & galloway Image needed LHB (1047) Seen at Newark tractor Show 2011
No. 450 E 813 1937 CAH 36 R. Myhill, East Anglia to add (17) Seen at Strumpshaw Steam Rally 2009
No. 525 - 1937 EKA 721 - Ferguson-Brown no. 525 of 1937 reg EKA 721 (G.Allen) at Malvern 09 - IMG 5760 Seen at Tractor World Show - Malvern 2009
on Reproduction cast wheel centres
No. 566 - year reg R.F. Lunn Image needed LHB (1060) Seen at Newark Tractor Show 2011
No. 635 year reg R.F. Lunn Image needed LHB (1061) Seen at Newark Tractor Show 2011
No. 756 - 1938 BEW 373 - Ferguson Brown no. 756 reg BEW 373 at Peterborough 08 - IMG 3242 Seen at Peterborough National Tractor Show 2008
No. 921 -  ? None D. Hastings, Leicestershire Ferguson-Browb no 921 - at Bath-IMG 4900 Presented at Bath and Southwest Tractor show in 2009
No. 1164 -  ?  ? For sale (Oct 2003)[4] Image needed LHB Has a PTO
No. 1191 - 193?  ? ex. Derek Willams collection Ferguson Brown A no.1191 (491) at Symmonds Yat - IMG 3736 For sale (September 2012) by H J Pugh & Co. at Symmonds Yat[5]
No. 1217 petrol/TVO 1938 - new Owner ? Image needed LHB Sold at Cheffins April 2010 sale - £9,200.[6] Ex Isle of Man.
No. 1279 - 1939 - - Image needed LHB Sold at NW Edwards sale - £13,000.[7]
No. 1503 ? - year reg M. Brewster Image needed LHB (1071) Seen at Newark Tractor Show 2011
No. ? - - - - Ferguson Brown at Belvoir Castle 08 - P5180421 Seen at Belvior Castle Show 2008
No. ? -  ? - - Ferguson-Brown Model A at The Henry Ford Steel Wheels version
Displayed at The Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan
No. ? - 1938 RUN 704 - Photo here On
No. - year reg D P May to add Image needed LHB (1094) Seen at Newark VTH show 2011
No. - year reg D P May to add Image needed LHB (1095) Seen at Newark VTH show 2011
No. - year reg owner Image needed LHB Seen at ?
No. - year reg owner Image needed LHB Seen at ?

See alsoEdit


  1. Ford & Fordson Tractors by Michael Williams, ISBN 978-0-7537-1447-8
  2. David Brown Tractors 1936-64, by Alan Earnshaw
  3. Vintage Tractor Magazine, issue 104, Aug/Sept 2008, page 57
  4. Old Tractor Magazine, Issue 1, p44
  5. Old Tractor Magazine, Issue ?
  6. Old Tractor Magazine, issue 82, July 2010, page 30
  7. Vintage Tractor Magazine, issue 104, Aug/Sept 2008, page 58

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