Massey-Harris Model 101

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The Massey-Harris Model 101 was a tractor built by Massey-Harris (later Massey Ferguson) from 1938-1946.[1] Developed under the guidance of James S. Duncan, who gambled corporate losses would drop and won, the 101 introduced the Chrysler L-head inline six. The six would compete with Oliver's straight-six Model 70, while saving money on development of a whole new engine as well as taking advantage of Chrysler's existing parts and service network.[1]


The 101 used the 201 in³ (3,292 cc) six, taking advantage of its stock electric start, a first in a tractor.[1] Run at much lower revs than the truck engine, the 101 came in the usual standard and row-crop models, with four-speed transmission, and was capable of 20 mph (32 km/h) on roads.[1] The row-crop model offered adjustable rear wheel spacing and rear wheel brakes, as well as PTO. There was also a rare model with a single front wheel.[2] They also featured hood sides with dozens of louvers, which disappeared late in 1941.[3] The Super was upgraded to the 217 in³ (3,554 cc) Chrysler in 1940,[1] giving it almost 50 hp (37 kW) at the belt, making it one of the most powerful tractors on the market that year.[1] It continued to be used in the 101 Super until 1940, when it was supplanted by the 217 in³ (3,554 cc).[1]


With a base price of around C$1100,[4] the 101 was about C$200 more than the John Deere A.[5] and competitive with Ford and Ferguson-Brown models of the period.[4][6] Yet the top-selling tractors were all lighter and much cheaper.[7]

Model 101 Junior[edit]

To address this, the Model 101 was joined in 1939 by the "entry level" two-plow[2] Model 101 Junior with Chrysler's inline four, while the six-cylinder model became the 101 Super. The Junior, comparable to the Deere Model H,[8] used the same 124 in³ (2,031 cc) engine of the later 81 and 20,[5][9] and produced 31 hp (23 kW) at the belt,[10] Manufactured by Continental, it was used in many Massey Harris tractors at the time,[6][9] as well as by the Cockshutt 20 and Oliver Super 44. The comparable kerosene (tractor vaporising oil, or TVO, in Britain)[11] version was known as the 102 Junior.[7] In 1940, the 124 in³ engine was replaced by a 140 in³ (2,293 cc) Continental[7] of 19 drawbar/23 belt hp (14/17 kW)[5] and in 1943 with a 162 in³ (2,654 cc) version.[7]


While the C$895[5] Junior sold nearly 28,000 units by 1946, it could not match the 60,000 each of the Deere H and Allis-Chalmers B, 180,000 of the Farmall A, and was barely a fraction of Ford's 260,000 9Ns.[5] The Model 101 Super ended production in 1942.[12] The 101 Junior persisted until 1946, while the waning sales of the 102 Junior saw the name pass to overseas sales.[7]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Pripps, p.61.
  2. ^ a b Pripps, p.71.
  3. ^ Pripps, p.64.
  4. ^ a b Pripps, p.79 cap.
  5. ^ a b c d e Pripps, p.72.
  6. ^ a b Pripps, p.78.
  7. ^ a b c d e Pripps, p.70.
  8. ^ Pripps, p.73.
  9. ^ a b Pripps, p.104.
  10. ^ Pripps, p.77.
  11. ^ Pripps, p.131.
  12. ^ Pripps, p.63.


Further reading[edit]

  • Pripps, Robert N. The Big Book of Farm Tractors. Vancouver, BC: Raincoast Books, 2001. ISBN 1-55192-393-9.
  • ______. The Field Guide to Vintage Farm Tractors. Stillwater, MN: Voyageur Press, 2001.
  • ______. Vintage Ford Tractors. Stillwater, MN: Voyageur Press, 2001.
  • Denison, Merrill. Harvest Triumphant: The Story of Massey-Harris. New York: Dodd Mead, 1949.
  • Farnsworth, John. The Massey Legacy. Ipswich, Great Britain: Farming Press, 1997.
  • Gay, Larry. Farm Tractors 1975-1995. Saint Joseph, MI: American Society of Agricultural Engineers, 1995.
  • Wendel, C. H. Massey Tractors. Osceola, WI: Motorbooks International, 1992.