|This is The second of three books looking in depth at David Brown and its products.
Based in the Yorkshire township of Meltham in a remote Pennine valley, David Brown Tractors Ltd was a fiercely independent and family-controlled organisation. It exuded that great British tradition of putting engineering excellence before monetary consideration.
Focusing on the company's agricultural tractors, the book starts in the era of the famous Cropmaster model, which pioneered so many industry "firsts" including the high-speed direct-injection diesel engine. It heralded the beginning of an intense period of engineering innovation as the range was enlarged to include crawlers, a six-cylinder wheeled tractor and a novel toolbar machine.
David Brown's goal was to capture the world's markets with a range of six tractors and 60 implements. It nearly all fell apart after the product line became overloaded, coupled with the somewhat underwhelming appearance of the ill-fated DB 900 model in 1956, but the company regrouped and channelled its resources into a new series of middleweight wheeled tractors that brought even greater success.
Moving into the early 1960s, and the final years of David Brown's ‘red’ tractors, the hugely popular 880 and 990 Implematic models began to have a dramatic affect on sales - helping to confirm Meltham's position as Britain's third largest tractor manufacturer after the mighty Ford and Massey Ferguson organisations.
The author describes each model and its development in consummate detail; not just the production tractors, but also the principal - and highly fascinating - prototypes. He focuses on all the main developments, including the company's ground-breaking TCU and Autodrive systems. The narrative also deals with the American Oliver connection and the German 750 Farmatic tractor.
During the course of his extensive research, the author has uncovered much new material, and several of the machines featured in the book have not been mentioned before in any other publication. The development of each tractor is set against the background of company policy, management decisions and world events. Stuart also explains the makeup of the larger David Brown Corporation and how the various facets of the organisation, particularly Aston Martin, impinged upon Meltham production.
This long-awaited work is the result of more than ten years of meticulous research during which time the author has interviewed many of David Brown's key personnel. It is probably the most extensive book ever produced about any British tractor manufacturer. The absorbing text is accompanied by more than 500 illustrations - many of which will not have been seen before.
360 pages, 0ver 550 pictures and illustrations. hardback - in stock