Massey Ferguson 65 Tractor
This is a fine model in the best Corgi tradition, accurate, evocative and durable with solid play value. It was a huge seller, almost a million pieces sold as a solo model with no loader, another half million in gift sets and one and two-thirds million pieces in the loader versions. Over three million Fergie 65s sold in all.
It's interesting to reflect on the development of the Massey Ferguson tractor range at this time. The Ferguson FE35 that evolved into the Massey-Ferguson MF35 grew out of the old 'Grey Fergie', the Ferguson TE19 to TE21 which was made for Ferguson by the Standard Motor Company (who made the Vanguard car) from the late Forties onwards. The FE35 had grey bodywork with bronze or as usually referred to 'gold' painted engine, gearbox and axles and was clearly a successor to the little grey one. It originally had a diesel version of the Standard two litre petrol engine, which was a complete bastard to start, eventually it got a three cylinder Perkins diesel engine and a red and grey paint job to become the MF35.
Massey Harris had bought Ferguson in 1956. This Massey-Ferguson 65 looks more like an American Massey Harris with that rounded radiator grille. Paint that grille red and it would absolutely be a Massey Harris. To me it is a Massey Harris with Ferguson hydraulics added. It is not until the release of the 135/165 that the Massey-Ferguson tractor range really came together. Say it quiet, but no Fergie of any type was ever white. It makes the model look smart but these tractors were red and grey, not red and white and the wheels were grey too.
50 Solo Tractor
The model had a very long production life being released in 1959 and remaining in production until 1966, there are a number of production variations listed through the run; the wheels can be metal or plastic, the steering wheel can be black plastic, grey plastic or silver metal and an example has been reported with a copper coloured seat. Look for a combination of a red painted seat with metal hubs or unpainted metal steering wheel with plastic hubs.
53 Tractor Shovel
A year after the first Massey Ferguson tractor was released came this one with the fore-end loader. There were two versions, a bucket and a fork. This is the bucket. The bucket version, No.53 was introduced in 1960 and remained in production until 1966. The variations are several; you can have metal or plastic wheels, metal or plastic steering wheel, bare metal or painted loader. In general early metal wheels versions and those with the loader painted the same colour as the engine tend to get best prices.
There's some really nice engineering going on here. The mechanism for raising and lowering the loader and for tipping and resetting the bucket are not only ingeniously simple, they replicate the real thing wonderfully, even down to the positioning of the controls. At this time a light duty loader of this kind did rely on gravity to tip and reset the bucket and the tip lever was just where you see it.
The control to raise and lower the loader was the hydraulic quadrant lever next to your right hip, so not too far away from the one in the model. There is actually a lever moulded on the left side of the gearbox on this model - I think that one engaged and disengaged the rear PTO shaft.
57 Loader With Fork
In 1963 The fore-end loader on the Massey 65 was given a fork, this was in addition to the number 53 model with a bucket. The fork equipped tractor stayed in the range until 1966 when the Massey Ferguson 165 came out. These are surprisingly hard to find.
GS 29 Tractor & Trailer With Driver
This is a re-release of the 1959 GS7 set, with the addition of a driver. It is another set that I remember owning, but not receiving, when a child. I must have been given it very young, I was three in 1959. Of course my tractor lost its steering wheel and the trailer lost first its tailboard and eventually its tow ring, but that was the expected attrition rate of toys played with on the farmhouse kitchen floor. These are really nice toys, colourful and tactile, and as models, good representations of the real items.
GS32 Tractor & Tipping Trailer Gift Set
A pairing of the old and the new here. The old Massey 65 with the fore end loader from 1960 is put with the brand new farm tipping trailer to make a replacement Gift Set for the by now long in the tooth GS7 from 1959. GS7 had the Massey tractor without the loader and the old Massey Ferguson 30cwt trailer. I can see what they are doing here as it makes excellent play sense to have a trailer you can unhitch and load up using the tractor, tow it across the carpet and then tip your load in the opposite corner of the living room. Good thinking Corgi, just a shame the new Corgi Massey 165 wasn't ready yet, the real thing had been out there since 1964. This set was released in December 1965 and remained in the range until 1968. There are no listed variations.
|Corgi Toys 50; Massey Ferguson 65 Tractor; Red & Grey, Metal Wheels, Plastic Steering Wheel, Bare Metal Seat||Corgi Toys 50; Massey Ferguson 65 Tractor; Red & Light Grey, Plastic Wheels, Bare Metal Seat||Corgi Toys 53; Massey Ferguson 65 Tractor Shovel; Red & Cream, Cream Loader, Metal Wheels||Corgi Toys 53; Massey Ferguson 65 Tractor Shovel; Red & Cream, Cream Loader, Plastic Wheels||Corgi Toys 53; Massey Ferguson 65 Tractor Shovel; Red/Cream, Silver Shovel Arms, Metal Hubs|
|Corgi Toys 57; Massey Ferguson 65 Tractor with Fork; Red, Cream, Unpainted Loader||Corgi Toys GS29; Massey Ferguson Tractor & Trailer; With Driver||Corgi Toys GS32; Massey Ferguson 65 With Loader & Trailer Set|