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Massey Discussion Forums :: Massey Talk :: MH 744D history View modes: 
User avatar
Posted: 7/16/2012 12:48:35 PM
   

MH 744D history

Our MH 744 tractor was a UK version of the N American 44 tractor.  The chassis, tinwork and rear end were brought over to our MH factory, then fitted with UK wheels and a Perkins P6 six cylinder diesel engine - one of the nicest sounding diesel engines ever made.

Mine is of 1954 vintage - the last year in which they were made before evolving to become the 745 with Perkins L4 engine.  I bought it out of a scrapyard in about 1972.  It was bought new by our local County Agricultural College which was based on the Glynllifon estate.  A good friend of mine who by then was working at the University farm where I was based as a student had previously told me about it as he had driven it when almost new.    From the college farm it went to a local farmer who wouldn't sell it to me but then he sold it to the scrapyard which was using it to drag cars about - the outlook for it was therefore short!  We were lucky to hear on the local grapevine that it had ended up there.  My Dad used it on the farm at home to turn the grain drying fan for a few years before it went into retirement and then I straightened it up a bit.  With my son I took it to the Glynllifon vintage rally about 20 years ago where it was welcomed back by one or two of the college staff who still remembered it.

The other day the son of the farm manager who used to run the farm brought round two old photos of it from its college days dated 1956.   At the college it had a dual role.  It worked on the farm and it was also used for demonstrating the ins and outs of tractor mechanics to the students.  Attached are two photos of it.  One shows it on farm duties in the farm yard and the other with the machinery lecturer pointing out detail to students.

I have seen one of these tractors up in Ontario which apparently was sent from the UK for testing and there was another at the Dome Valley, Yuma sale along with a 745 - both of which went to one purchaser.   They looked like pretty sound tractors but were not running at the time.  Other than that I am not aware of any others in North
America.

These 744s have now become quite desirable over here with prices of up to £10,000 (about 15,000 USD) being achieved for fully rstored specimens.  Mine is in sound original but preserved condition and a nice runner.  From the photo you will see that it was fitted with a radiator grill chaff guard which it has never had whilst in my posession.  I have checked with my old mate who used to drive it and he advises that indeed it did have one, so I have queries out to find one - can anyone help??

I also attach an old poor photo of a prototype M-H 745 crawler tractor shown at the Scotish M-H factory.  As far as we can establish these never went in to production.

The 4th photo is of the day I took it to the Glynllifon rally about 20 years ago

John.

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User avatar
Posted: 7/17/2012 6:14:18 AM
   

RE:MH 744D history

John,

What some lovely pictures. It's nice to know the history of the tractors that you own.

On 744D in North America when I was at the Massey Expo at Milton in 2008 I think it was there was one there. I have a picture of it somewhere but I expect you know of this one.
The young guy who was driving it at the time told me his Grandfather had brought the P6 over in suitcases but I don't know if this is true or not.

Alan


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User avatar
Posted: 7/17/2012 6:34:24 AM
   

RE:MH 744D history

John,

Here is the 744 from Yuma you speak of.

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User avatar
Posted: 7/17/2012 6:35:55 AM
   

RE:MH 744D history

And also the 745...

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User avatar
Posted: 7/17/2012 7:44:46 AM
   

RE:MH 744D history

Thanks for those two photos Reuhlz - they bring back memories of that memorable sale - will there ever be another one like it??  If my memorey serves me correctly they went to Minnesota????

John


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User avatar
Posted: 7/17/2012 8:00:05 AM
   

RE:MH 744D history

I highly doubt, we will find the wide variety of RARE tractors in one auction ever again.  There were some very unique pieces.  I wish I took more pictures especially of serial numbers!


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User avatar
Posted: 7/18/2012 1:03:15 AM
   

RE:MH 744D history

Attached is a poor photograph of the one refered to in Ontario, it is on parade at  the Massey National Show, Milton 2008.

I agree with you Reuhlz we were so overwhelmed by the extent of the Dome Valley collection and auction that we did not make the most of it in the March sunshine of Arizona, on reflection we should of spent longer there before the sale to digest everything and bought more, it is easy to be wise after the event,  I don't expect we will ever see another diverse Massey collection like that under the hammer in my lifetime.

Malcolm.

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User avatar
Posted: 7/18/2012 5:48:42 AM
   

RE:MH 744D history

Since first posting this thread I have had an e mail in from  Bryon Miller in Michigan.        With his permission I am reproducing it here.  It gives more info on the existence of 744 and 745 tractors in N America.  Thanks Bryon.
""""
Hi John
 
You might remember me we have met at some past show and I have shared some pictures of my collection. I read your note on the Massey Page and I had some questions and comments. I have not been able to get sign on so I thought I might try this way.
 
As far as I know there are two 744s in Ontario: one is running which was the one we saw at the last Massey show in Milton which is believed to be a test tractor. The other is owned by I think  Don Mc Vitte. I have heard this is not running due to sitting too long without running. 

The 744 and 745 from Yuma I heard went to North Dakota. But I have not heard who got them and  have not seen them show up at a show. A gentleman in Ohio who's name escapes me but he likes to be called Mr Perkins was putting together a 745 out of parts but I do not think he has finish it.
 
 I have two 744s , one 745 and one 745S.  See attached pictures. All of mine came from Australia. The 745s just arriving this year. All of mine are running  but need work to fix old repairs and band aids.
 
You mentioned that Massey sent the rear-ends over. When I compare the 744 to a 44 I see that a gear lube dipstick has been added and the oil fill hole has been added to the side of the casing where on a 44 it is part of the gear shift cover. Also on the back of the transmission case there are extra guess across the back where you could  bolt something to the back of the rear end giving a flat surface to bolt to and mounting holes.
 
Do you know when these where added? My guess is when Massey moved the assembly to Scotland but I have no good information on this. When I got my 745 I was going to change the rear axel because it had a flange welded onto to it to accept a stamped wheel. But when I tried to fit the US axel to the bull gear it was not the correct size. The US was just a little too big. So I am thinking that they ended up making all of the parts in Scotland. I ended up grinding off all the weld and fitting some hubs from a 44 standard.
 
Well thanks for taking the time to read my email
 
Bryon Miller""""


John

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User avatar
Posted: 7/18/2012 6:47:53 AM
   

RE:MH 744D history

Great info on these unusual tractors over here.

I have a question. Although it is not a 744/745 I thought it would be alright here as it is Perkins powered. This 201 pictured I think is a tractor in England but do not know any history on it. Do you have any info on this tractor John? I have a friend with another 201 that has an odd serial number, engine mounts that have been added for different engine, and the big thing is the fuel tank has been made with extra fittings for a fuel return. All these features I assume point to it having a diesel engine fitted originally. Also what ever it was it is the first one made!

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User avatar
Posted: 7/18/2012 7:39:22 AM
   

RE:MH 744D history

Tom,

I've no idea whose that tractor is but there are a handful of 201s, 202s, and 203s over here with very odd ones having been vandalised (!!!!!!!!) by putting a Perkins engine in them.  Of course these would most likely have been done for economy when they were working rather than recently - it would be nice to see people change them back to original Chrysler of Contiental engines which I am sure could be picked up in N America

John


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