Nuffield Universal

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Nuffield Universal Four

The Nuffield Universal was a tractor produced from 1948 by the Agricultural Division of British Morris Motors later a subsidiary of The British Motor Corporation Limited.[1][2][3] When William Morris the founder of Morris Motors was honoured with a title and elevated to the peerage he chose the name of his Oxfordshire village, Nuffield. When in 1948 the Morris Motors Agricultural Division launched their tractor range the name Nuffield was chosen to be the brand name for the company's agricultural products. The design was similar to the new David Brown built tractors as the designer Dr. Merit had also worked on the design of the David Brown 50D before moving to Nuffield.


Morris Motors Limited vice chairman, Sir Miles Thomas, announced to the I.S.M.A at Hull in 1946 "Nuffield to Make Tractors". Production started in 1948 with the Nuffield Universal tractor, launched at the Smithfield Show in December 1948. Designed by former David Brown Ltd. tractor designer Dr. H E Merritt, who had been involved in tank design during the war.[4]

Tractor manufacture was undertaken at the former Wolseley factory in Birmingham.



Petrol-paraffin engine models introduced at the 1948 Smithfield Show were the Nuffield Universal M4 and the tricycle-wheeled M3. Both tractors were powered by an engine based on the side-valve Morris Commercial four-cylinder lorry engine, running on tractor vaporising oil and delivering 42 hp.


The first diesel powered Nuffield was the Universal DM4 which was powered by a 38 hp Perkins P4 (TA) engine. When Morris Motors became part of the British Motor Corporation (BMC) in 1951 the Perkins engine was retained until 1954 when it was replaced by a 45 h.p. BMC diesel engine.


M4 and M3[edit]

3-Wheel M tractor
4-wheel M tractor

Original engine for both M4 and M3 was a Morris Commercial 4-cylinder sidevalve engine running on tractor vaporising oil, delivering 42 hp.

  • M4 Conventional 4-wheel model
  • M3 Single front wheel version for row crop work.


Universal 3(3DL) and 4(4DM)[edit]

Built from 1952 to 1961:

  • 3DL 2.55L 3 Cylinder Engine 37 bhp
  • 4DM 3.4L 4 Cylinder Engine 53 bhp

3/42 and 4/60[edit]

1962 Nuffield 460

Built from 1961 to 1964. All tractors built at Bathgate in Scotland from 1962.

  • 3/42 2.8L 3-cylinder (100 mm) 39.2 bhp
  • Export 3/42 models have a 2.55L engine with vacuum governor like the 3DL.
  • 4/60 3.8L 4-cylinder diesel engine. Produced by boring out the 3.4-litre.

10 series[edit]

Built from 1964 to 1967 with 10 forward gears:

  • 10/42 - 2.8 diesel engine, 42 hp
  • 10/60 - 3.8 diesel engine, 60 hp

Leyland tractors[edit]

In 1968 BMC's holding company British Motor Holdings was amalgamated with the Leyland Motor Corporation which also owned Standard Triumph and Rover to become British Leyland. Tractor production continued under the Nuffield name until 1969 when the tractors were renamed as Leyland Tractors and the familiar poppy red livery was changed to a new two-tone blue Leyland corporate colour scheme.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Display Advertising. Nuffield. The Times , Tuesday, 4 July 1961; pg. ii; Issue 55124
  2. ^ Display Advertising. Nuffield. The Times, Tuesday, 3 July 1962; pg. vi; Issue 55433
  3. ^ Nuffield Leyland and Marshall 1948-85, by Allan T. Condie, ISBN 1-904686-11-7
  4. ^ Nuffield Leyland & Marshall 1948-85, By Alan T. Condie, ISBN 1-904686-11-7