Fordson Major Tractor

 

The Fordson Power Major was a 1958 upgrade to the British designed and manufactured E1A Fordson originally introduced in 1951. It was a big, powerful tractor for the time, competing with the Massey Ferguson 65. It was replaced by the similar-looking but more technically advanced Super Major in 1960 which was itself supplanted by the Ford 5000 in 1964. Early Ford 5000 tractors were also labelled 'Super Major'

Corgi first made the Power Major in 1961 and later the Super Major and of course after that, the Ford 5000.

55 Fordson Power Major

The first Corgi Fordson Major. This one has steering via a solid front axle which pivots in the middle rather than the parallel wheels found on the next version. Another difference is that the headlights are attached to the sides of the radiator, later models have them integrated into the grille. In addition the lift arms and trailer hitch are different. In fact the No.55 and No.60 models are completely different castings. and are modelled on different models of the real tractor.

This three-point linkage (two lift arms and a top-hitch) is truer to the real life tractors of the time than the later cantilever arrangement with no top hitch used for the blue and silver plough on the Corgi Super Major and Ford 5000. The trailer hitch though is a tin hook, just like on the Land Rover and the ERF lorry. There is no attempt to provide a pick-up hitch. A pick-up hitch has the trailer hook attached to the lift arm mechanism so that the trailer is picked up from the ground and hitched to the tractor using hydraulics, the driver not having to leave his seat. Later models of the Corgi Fordson Major and early Ford 5000s have a working pick-up hitch. Later Ford 5000s have a simplified arrangement designed to look like one without the functionality. Corgi are to be congratulated for trying so hard to replicate a three point linkage, but one can understand why they later opted a simpler arrangement. It is hard to mount and remove the plough and I'm always afraid of breaking it.

The No.55 Fordson Power Major was released in May 1961, at the same time as the plough to go with it. Early models had metal wheels painted orange, these were quickly replaced with orange plastic wheels. The metal wheels version is valued significantly higher than the plastic wheels version. This tractor did not come with a driver.

GS18 Tractor & Plough Gift Set

The tractor & plough Gift Set is kept up to date for years to come. This is the first incarnation. The tractor is the early Fordson Major with the three-point linkage and the fixed tin tow hook. It also has the headlamps on the sides of the radiator grille and a solid swinging front axle. The plough is the early one too, not plated and with a top-linkage, no driver yet. I wasn't aware of this set. I had the Ford 5000 and the plough as a kid and friends had the Super Major. I only learnt that there was an early and completely non-compatible version when putting this collection together. I'm not sure of where Britains were in 1961 but Corgi were probably ahead of them in this area and at a smaller scale. In my rather faulty memory they may have had a Fordson Major with a two-furrow plough, but that was about it.

This set remained in the range until 1963. In 1964 GS13 was released with the newer version of the tractor (parallel wheel steering lift-up hitch, lights in the grille) and the blue and silver plough. GS13 seems to be valued more highly than GS18.

54 Roadless

"ROADLESS HALF TRACK - This equipment, which is interchangeable with wheels, is suitable for fitting to Allis Chalmers, Fordson Major and Massey Harris tractors. By using a specially shortened drawbar and an extra pair of brackets, it is unnecessary to remove either the idler mounting or the swinging drawbar when changing over to pneumatics. The steering, handling and speed of the tractor are unaffected by the changeover." Roadless Traction Ltd. Hounslow (Middlesex), England.

So this was a kit you could fit to your tractor, not just Fordsons but Masseys and Allises too. I think though that the last sentence in the quote from Roadless Traction is a lie.

It makes a jolly fine model though and this is one of the ones I owned as a child. Briefly though in this case. I was bought one by my older brother, I took it to school and had it taken from me by a bigger kid and never saw it again. When I opened the package containing this item from eBay it was the first time since 1964 that I'd actually seen one of these. It cost a lot, but it was worth it.

This model was available under the same model number (54) in both of the castings used for the Fordson Major tractor. The original 55 casting with the lights outside the grille and steering with a solid swinging axle was used on the early releases. These have grey tracks. Later releases use the 60 casting with the lights in the grille and parallel wheels steering and have black tracks. As the Model 60 Fordson Major was released in 1964, the year the half-track was deleted, there are far fewer of these and they are consequently worth a lot more money than the earlier ones. Both of them however are scarce models you will have to dig deep for.

GS13 Tractor & Plough Gift Set

This is the first outing for the all new Fordson Major tractor with a stack of new features and for the new simplified plough with the vacuum plated ploughshares.

The Great Book of Corgi gets this wrong, it is not a re-release of the old No.55 Fordson with an updated plough, it is a newly modelled casting of a new model of Fordson Major tractor, the last before it was replaced by the Ford 5000, it is the Fordson Super Major. The Corgi tractor now has new parallel wheel steering, a new set of lift arms and a pick-up hitch linked to the lift arms, just like the real thing, and a driver. The bodywork (tinwork on tractors) is all new to reflect the change in styling on the full size item, the lights are in the grille, rather than on the outside of the radiator cowl and the exhaust now comes up through the bonnet. On the old one it was outside. The transfers on the Corgi tractor remain the same however reading 'Power Major'.

The plough has also been remodelled. The old one had a three-point linkage, being attached to the lift arms and the top link behind the driver's seat. This is actually very realistic and just how the full size tractor was set up. In practice the old Corgi plough is a bit hard to get on and off the tractor so a simpler and less realistic arrangement has the plough attached only to the lift arms. We now have blue paint on the plough to match the tractor and nice shiny plated ploughshares. This set was released in March 1964 and remained in the range until 1966 when the Fordson tractor was replaced by the new Ford 5000. There are no listed variations.

60 Super Major (see GS13 above)

This tractor was added into the Corgi range in 1964 and remained in production until 1971 which meant it was in the shops alongside its replacement - the Ford 5000 - for four years, and deleted only one year earlier that the Ford 5000. Development at Corgi was not always sequential. There are no listed variations to this Corgi, other than red or orange wheels, and values are good. There should be a driver figure.

61 Four Furrow Plough

This is the second version of the plough. The original was more true to life having a three-point-linkage. Like the real thing it fastened on to both lift arms and to the top link under the driver's seat. Although realistic this was hard to fit and fragile. This plough just attaches to the lift arms so while being less authentic it is more practical as a toy. It fits on to the second version of the Fordson Power Major tractor (No.60) and all versions of the Ford 5000 Super Major tractor. It was added to the range in 1964 and deleted in 1971. There are no listed variations.

GS33 Beast Carrier Gift Set

Last year's updated Fordson Major with its new casting and features is here paired with the all new Beast Carrier trailer. The trailer body makes a re-appearance shortly on the back of a Dodge Kew Fargo chassis cab to make a light weight cattle truck. It's chassis is shared with the No.62 tipper trailer. This makes a very handsome set - although I cannot seem to make sense of the covering net - I'm afraid to do much with it as it is getting old and brittle but it doesn't seem to want to fit properly. This set was released in March 1965 and remained in the range until 1966 when the newer Ford 5000 tractor was substituted for the good old Major.

Fordson Power Major

       
Corgi Toys 55; Fordson Power Major Tractor; Blue, Orange Metal Wheels Corgi Toys 55; Fordson Power Major Tractor; Blue, Orange Plastic Wheels Corgi Toys 56; Four Furrow Plough Corgi Toys GS18; Fordson Tractor And Plough Gift Set Corgi Toys 54; Fordson Power Major with ‘Roadless’ Half Tracks; Blue, External Lamps, Grey Tracks
Corgi Toys 55; Fordson Power Major Tractor; Blue, Orange Metal Wheels Corgi Toys 55; Fordson Power Major Tractor; Blue, Orange Plastic Wheels Corgi Toys 56; Four Furrow Plough Corgi Toys GS18; Fordson Tractor And Plough Gift Set Corgi Toys 54; Fordson Power Major with ‘Roadless’ Half Tracks

Fordson Super Major

       
Corgi Toys GS13; Fordson Tractor with Plough Corgi Toys 60; Fordson Major Tractor, Orange Wheels Corgi Toys 60; Fordson Major Tractor, Red Wheels Corgi 61; Four Furrow Plough Corgi Toys GS33; Tractor & Beast Carrier Set
Corgi Toys GS13; Fordson Tractor with Plough Corgi Toys 60; Fordson Major Tractor, Orange Wheels Corgi Toys 60; Fordson Major Tractor, Red Wheels Corgi Toys 61; Four Furrow Plough Corgi Toys GS33; Tractor & Beast Carrier Set

 


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Last Edit: 04/06/2022 Page Added 23/05/2022