Nuffield tractors was formed by Mr William Morris, like Henry Ford, a man who initially made his name in the car market. From as early as 1926, he did quite a lot of research on firstly crawler and then wheeled tractors. By 1946, a dozen prototypes were being tested in Lincolnshire and this resulted in the launch of the Nuffield Universal at the Smithfield Show in 1948. There were two versions, the M4 and the M3 each denoting the number of wheels. Both had 3-point linkage, drawbar and PTO as standard.
The engines were based on the wartime Morris Commercial units and were started on petrol and switched over to paraffin when warm. A Perkins diesel engine was added later and when Austin & Morris were to merge to form British Motor Corporation, a home-grown engine was used. The Universal 3 (3-cylinder) was added to the range in 1957 and the 4/60 (4-cylinder 60hp) came along in 1960. Both these models were face-lifted in 1964 to become the 10-42 and 10-60 models, and production was moved from Cowley to Scotland.
Smaller models were added to the range such as the petrol-engined Mini and the diesel 4-25 model. In 1967, following the merger of Austin-Morris, the models were renamed as BMC but before the public could adjust to the new name, BMC changed its name to British Leyland Motor Corporation and the livery changed from the bright Nuffield orange to the Leyland metallic blue. Production of Leyland tractors finished in the early 1980s with the sale of the business to the Nickerson organisation.