Its development

The Massey Ferguson 35 developed from The Ferguson TE20 (Little Grey Fergie with its all grey colour.) In 1956 the Grey Fergie was replaced by the Ferguson FE35 (the British version of the North American TO35) which had grey sheet metal parts and a golden bronze colour to the castings-hence the nickname it got of ‘golden belly’.

New colours

This changed to the MF35 with the red sheet metal colour and the grey castings in 1957. Of course it was fitted with a more advanced Ferguson System with position control on it for the first time. The hydraulics were  operated by 2 hand levers, oil pressure and pump capacity were improved resulting in better performance. The difference to the colour scheme was the only difference between the MF35 and the Golden Belly at first. They were built in Coventry and had the new Massey Ferguson badge. The MF35 was the first tractor to display the new Massey Ferguson colours.

(In 1953 the Massey Harris company directors came to England to discuss buying Harry Fergusons tractor and machinery company. The $16 million deal led to the formation of a company called Massey-Harris-Ferguson in 1954. The Canadians went to work on replacing the Little Grey Fergie with the FE35 in 1956. The merger of the 2 companies meant that there were different tractors from each company competing with each other in the market place so the change of name in 1957 to Massey Ferguson and the introduction of the red and grey colour scheme was the beginning of the new company’s strategy to standardise their products.)

The new engine

The early MF35s (and the FE35 they replaced) were first rate tractors in the small tractor market. However, there was a problem with the diesel engine version of the 35 which was not an ideal match for the transmission ratios, had poor torque and was a notoriously poor starter. However Perkins Ltd was acquired in 1959 (from -Peterborough) and during that year the MF35 was sold with a 37HP Perkins diesel engine. This solved the starting problem, increased torque, was more economical and maintenance costs were reduced. This probably made the MF35 one of the best tractors in its class at the time.

The MF35 was also built in France with a few alterations (e.g. lights and signalling equipment to comply with French road rules) and was called the MF 835 there.

MF 35X

In Dec of 1962 the MF35X was introduced and replaced the MF 35. This produced 44.5HP and had the option of Multi Power which increased pulling power without having to change gear. This gave the tractor 12 forward gears and 4 reverse. Engine breaking couldn’t be used in the low range. The MF35X was in production until 1964 when it was replaced by the MF135 in 1965.

MF 35 bits and bobs

MF35 Bits and Bobs.

Time of production          1957 to 1964/5

Where manufactured.      Coventry, UK.

What it replaced              The Ferguson FE35 (Gold Belly)

What it developed into:   MF35X

It was replaced by           MF 135        

Engine                             Perkins A3.152 thee cylinder diesel.

Cubic capacity                 2500cc or 152.7cu/in

Horse power                    37hp rising to 44 .5hp with the MF35x

Engine speed                   2000rpm

Gears.                            6 forward and 2 reverse. (With high and low

                                        box (1.5mph to 16.4mph forward speed

                                                       2mph to 8 mph reverse speed


Fuel Tank                       8.5 gallons

Size.                              Length 117”.  Width 64”. Wheel base 72” .

                                     Weight 3170lbs. Height  54"                          

Cost in 1960                  £615

Colour                        First to show the Massey Ferguson red and grey 

                             colour scheme and badge. Red for sheet metal and

                             grey for the castings.  


William Wright

04.10.2020 10:05

Very interested in all above
My father purchased his first new tractor in 1959 a 4 cylinder 35 for which i still have the paper log book but not the tractor that was scraped probably 30 years ago

Latest comments

01.06 | 20:01

Have the tractor back at the county show this year Northumberland

14.12 | 11:18

Are you still doing the 135 calendars for 2022

12.10 | 13:27

What would the cost be for all 13 pictures of my own to be added to my sons tractor calendar? Thank you

04.10 | 10:05

Very interested in all above
My father purchased his first new tractor in 1959 a 4 cylinder 35 for which i still have the paper log book but not the tractor that was scraped probably 30 years ago