1962 Massey Ferguson 65 Dieselmatic

The Massey-Ferguson 65 Diesel debuted for 1958. The DNA for that tractor started with the 1939 intro of the Ford-Ferguson 9N, a brilliant tractor designed largely by Harry Ferguson but finish-engineered and produced by Ford Motor Company. Coming out of a handshake agreement with Henry Ford, the 9N (1939-42) and later 2N (1942-1947) were market-changing tractors and a financial boon to both Ford and Ferguson. Ferguson operated his own dealer networks selling the Ford-Ferguson tractors and a line of Ferguson-produced implements.

The high clearance version of the MF65 are not as common as the low clearance but the narrow front variant of the high clearance is almost never seen. Owner Jason Abbott must be especially proud, since his ‘62 has all the bells and whistles to include Multi-Power and power steering. The Abbott’s MF65 looks to be carrying a fair amount of weight but in the Nebraska test, a Multi-Power standard clearance tractor used 4,700 pounds of ballast for it’s loaded performance. This tractor is also not long into when the direct-injected diesel had debuted. Reportedly, the final drive gearing was changed in the high clearance tractor accommodate the larger 38 inch tires (vs 28 inch on the utility version).

The agreement between Ford and Ferguson apparently included enough wiggle room to let Ferguson build tractors in England. In the agreement, that was to be done at the Ford Dagenham Plant but Ford management in there balked. By 1945, Ferguson had negotiated with the Standard Motor Company in Coventry to build tractors that were marketed as the TE20, “TE” for Tractor-England. They began manufacture in 1946 and were very similar in basic design and layout to the Ford-Ferguson tractors being built by Ford in Michigan but used Continental or Standard gas (or kerosene) engines instead of Ford and they had styling and detail differences.

The MF65 had the legendary Ferguson 3-point lift system, invented by Harry Ferguson in the mid-1930s. It took over the tractor industry and for tractors that still need that capability, it still rules. It, and the PTO, were standard for the MF65 tractor.

Despite Henry Ford retiring late in 1945, the Ford-Ferguson agreement continued until Henry Ford II and the FoMoCo board abruptly ended the Ferguson deal in December of 1946 but continued to build Ford badged 2N series tractor that included technology designed by Ferguson. Into the summer of 1947, Ford built tractors under contract for Ferguson and after that contract ended, he began having TE20s shipped over from England.

The operator accommodations were on par with other tractors in the same era and class, but nothing to write home about. You can just see the Multi-Power control  under the steering wheel “Neckin’ Knob.”

Harry made a big move in 1948 by opening a factory in Detroit and building the TO20, “TO” for Tractor-Overseas, a tractor very similar in size and layout to the new 1948 8N Ford. He also launched a lawsuit against Ford, in which he eventually won $9.25 million dollars (about $103 millions today). The English and American built Ferguson tractors were both popular, though the American Fergusons were often darkened by the gigantic shadow of Ford’s tractor division and it didn’t help that the Fords were less costly. By 1953, Ferguson had sold his outfit to Massey-Harris, a Canadian company. At first, the Massey-Harris and Ferguson lines were kept separate but in 1957, the companies became one… Massey-Ferguson.

The Abbott tractor was built not long after the direct-injected version of the 4.203 entered service and was called the 4D.203. The DI and IDI engine are very similar on the bottom end, both five main, wet-sleeved engines with a 5-inch stroke. You can tell the heads apart by the IDI injectors being mounted vertically and the DI injectors being canted a little. In the agricultural version, the 4.192 made 54 flywheel horsepower at 2250 rpm, while the 4.203 IDI made 57 at the same rpm. The 4.192 made 143 lbs-ft at 1350 rpm while the 4.203 IDI cranked out 151 lbs-ft. The agricultural DI engine made 56 horsepower at a lower 2000 rpm but a whopping 161 lbs-ft  at 1250 rpm. In later years the 4D.203 was turbocharged. These lasted into the 2000s.


The Perkins Connection

The British side of Ferguson had a strong connection with F. Perkins Limited, an engine manufacturer that specialized in diesels. Massey-Harris, before the Ferguson merger, also had an English arm of the company with connections to Perkins. When The Massey-Harris-Ferguson merger happened in 1953, the connection became even more robust.

Here we tie you into this month’s   Vintage Smoke story on the Perkins-powered Jeep that used the same family of engines as the MF65. You could order many agricultural implements for Jeeps back in the day and there is no reason you couldn’t have used a 4.192 powered CJ-5 to work down ground. Full disclosure; this is a gas CJ-5 but you get the idea. It’s pulling a single bottom Newgren plow.

In 1958, Perkins debuted a new diesel, the 4.192. Look at the Vintage Smoke installment in this issue to see how that engine was used in an automotive application. Per Perkins convention, the 4.192 designation broke down to the 4 indicating the number of cylinders and the 192 indicating the displacement. About a year after the American Massey-Ferguson 65 debuted late in 1957, the 4.192 became available as an option. As this was occurring, M-F and Perkins were negotiating an acquisition and that was made official in 1959, giving M-F an in-house diesel manufacturer.

To-MAY-to vs To-MAH-to

The British built MF65 differed slightly from the American built one. The differences  vary by year but the big one was the engine selections, with gasoline and LPG engines available in the U.S. but not England. In fact, as far as we can determine, the British version never had a gas offering. The MF65 debuted in 1957 here, but only with a gas engine and it wasn’t until a year later that a diesel was available. From everything we can see, the 4.192 saw very limited use here, with most MF65s having the bigger 4.203 indirect injected engine. The 4D.203 direct injected engine came on board starting late in 1961. The American units generally had different tires available. We are not 100 percent sure but it appears the narrow front high Clearance rowcrop model was not available in England, only high clearance models with a wide front.


For 1962, M-F made some waves by offering the Multi-Power system, which was a hydraulic high-low added to the standard gearbox. Normally, the MF65 had a 3-speed main transmission with a 2-speed range box for a total of six forward speeds and two reverse. The Multi-Power delivered 12 forward and four reverse gears, essentially enabling all the gears to be split. In the diesel line, the marketed them under the Dieselmatic moniker. Though Multi-Power was available on gas powered 65s, we haven’t see a “Gasmatic” decal. It was a pretty handy feature and not common on tractors in the same size and class.

Passing the Torch

The MF65 evolved into the very updated MF165 starting in ‘65 and we gave you a story on those back in the July issue. The MF65 was probably a bigger hit in the UK than here but that’s not because it was an inferior tractor. It just had a lot more competition and a smaller dealer footprint here. In it’s era, you could have called it a “Big Little Tractor.” It had a lot of power and durability packed into a small size and a great reputation on top of that.


1962 Massey-Ferguson 65

Engine: 4-cylinder DI diesel, Perkins 4D.203

Displacement: 203 ci

Bore & Stroke: 3.6 x 5

*Rated PTO Power: 50.98 hp @ 2000 rpm

*Rated Drawbar Power: 43.95 hp  @ 2004 rpm

Compression Ratio: 17.5:1

Transmission: 12-speed (3x2x2)

Weight: 4,511 lbs.

Fuel Capacity: 17 gal.

Tires: Front-5.50-16 Rear-11-38

*Fuel Consumption: 3.13 GPH @ full power

*Drawbar Pull: 7025 lb.s w/max ballast

*Top Speed: 18.54 mph

* As Rated by Nebraska Tractor Test  808 (standard clearance tractor)

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