British Northrop Ltd
Successor JCB
Defunct 1967
Headquarters Blackburn, Lancashire, England
Products tractor conversions
3 Northrop tractors - Ford conversions event - IMG 1709

Line up of three restored Northrop tractors at the Ford Conversions Event 2012

Northrop was a obscure conversion of Ford tractors with a short production run. It could almost be considered the Forerunner of the Muir-Hill tractor range. These conversions were completed by the British Northrop Ltd company in Blackburn, Lancashire, England.


British Northrop Ltd was an Engineering firm based in Blackburn, Lancashire, England. They were loom and weaving machinery manufactures, who merged with Chaseside engineering in 1959. British Northrop started in 1902. The loom business was in decline in the UK by 1950's and they had considerable factory and foundry capacity, which lead to the merger as Chaseside was financially stretched following development of their new hydraulic loaders. The tractor was built on a Ford 5000 skid unit. The prototype was built in 1964.

The Northrop tractor operation was set up at the Chaseside factory at Ware, Hertfordshire, England.

The tractor was designed by David J.B.Brown, who moved on to Muir Hill and then later founded DJB Dump trucks at Peterlee, County Durham, England.

The company got into difficulties in 1967, the foundry was shut and Chaseside was sold to JCB who were looking for a loading shovel manufacture. Tractor production stopped and the last 3 units went to JCB. Apparently they put them to work on the Joe Bamford's estate farm. It is reputed tat JCB paid £100,000 for the Chaseside businesses stock, work-in progress and intellectual property (Considered a bargain price by some).

Models Built Edit

UK PreservationEdit

2xNorthrop - Desbrough Cooke at Ford Conversions Event - IMG 2165

R Desbrough and A Cooke ploughing with Northrop tractors at the Ford Conversions Event 2012

A only a few examples are known to have survived and are in preservation, but these are one of the rarer tractors about and have a commanding presence to then;

Recollections Edit

I worked as a apprentice with Bill Harper on the original builds in 3 bay at Chaseside on all these prototypes - M Gibson

See alsoEdit

Other Ford ConvertersEdit


Ad blocker interference detected!

Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.