Variation 5: dark-orange, black pmw, type 2 box
Variation 2: yellow, umw, green driver
Variation 8: metallic green, red pmw, metallic blue driver, type 2 box
Variation 5: dark-orange, black pmw, type 2 box
Quite a little uncertainty centres around the Ferguson Tractor. Jack & Nathan Benenson began producing tractor models during the late 1940's in the Pure Rubber Products range among which were a clockwork Minneapolis-Moline model and a version of the Ferguson tractor with steering. When they started the Benbros range in 1951, a scaled down and re-cast model of the Ferguson was created based on the real Ferguson T20. This model appeared in several colours, had various casting changes, and four types of wheels.
The first casting of the Benbros Ferguson (type 1) was originally designed to incorporate steering but it was never fitted. The tractor was painted yellow with silver trim and there was a separate unpainted three-spoke steering wheel. The separate driver was usually dark green with brown hat & boots.
On each side of the grille at the front, the body had straight sides to provide space for the turning front wheels but because these were not fitted, special wheels with inner bosses were needed and these had smooth rims without treads. The rear wheels, which did have treads, fitted onto representations of the real tractor's heavy axle which were cast with the body.
Before long Benbros changed the steering wheel to a solid one and incorporated it into the casting. This (type 2) Tractor continued to be coloured yellow with silver trim on the grille and the top of the cast steering wheel. All four wheels of the model were unpainted.
Benbros then changed the casting again to produce the type 3 tractor adding front flanges to each side of the body so that conventional front wheels could be used. These were unpainted and smooth without treads, but the rear wheels continued to be the chunky treaded design. New colours were created for these versions, either red or green with silver trim on the grille.
For the next change (type 4), Benbros kept the tractor body as before but cast new wheels of a thinner design which included treads on the front wheels too, and these were used on almost all subsequent variations. More new colours were introduced and for the first time the wheels were also painted. The most common type 4 colour was orange with black wheels, but later a yellow variation and a metallic green one were issued, both with red wheels. Finally there was a pale-orange variation with blue wheels. Silver trim was usually applied to the grille and the steering wheel, and occaisionally to engine parts but it was not consistant and models without any trim are not uncommon.
The last variation of the Tractor (type 5) was pale-orange model with type 3 body but fitted with wheels from the Muir-Hill Dumper Truck which were much thicker and chunkier than the previous wheels. They were painted blue with silver centres and early examples had unusual axles with large hubcaps. Why Benbros used these wheels is not known, perhaps simply because stocks of the usual ones ran out, but they gave the model a more solid feel.
With all these variations, Benbros included the land-girl driver using the same casting but in a variety of colours. The most usual Benbros driver colour was green with a pink face and hand trim and dark brown boots and hat but Benbros produced several other colours. There was a brown or dark-brown driver with face and hand trim (or none), and then another green driver with pink trim and black boots, black hair and a green hat. Metallic blue and dark blue figures were later added, some with pale-tan face trim and occaisionally a black hat on the metallic ones. There was also possibly a dark-red driver with trim and a green hat.
The yellow type 1 tractor with unpainted steering wheel, and the majority of type 2 and type 3 models were sold unboxed from trade boxes or 'counter packs', but at about the time when the orange type 4 models were introduced, Benbros gave them individual boxes for the first time. However, some of the remaining stocks of yellow type 2 models (often with poor paint finish) seem to have been sold in boxes as they occaisionally come up at auction.
There were two types of box, the first (type 1) a plain beige end-flap one with dark-red writing and line drawings on each face. The Benbros Qualitoys logo was printed on each side but the end-flaps were left plain.
The type 2 box was a colourful one with two sets of illustrations on opposite sides showing a tractor and a small bulldozer. The end-flaps had 'Benbros Qualitoy' at one end and 'Benbros Farm Equipment' and a blank panel at the other so that a model name could be added. It is believed that this box was designed as a joint box with a planned model of a small bulldozer with tracks but this was never produced.
The yellow type 2 Benbros Qualitoys Ferguson Tractor is not hard to find but is often playworn. The type 4 orange variation with black wheels is also not uncommon but other colours and variations, and both boxes, are scarce or rare.
Variation 2: Type 2 tractor with cast steering wheel, green driver, type 1 box
Variation 2: Type 2 Tractor showing front wheel bosses and brown driver
Benbros Qualitoys Ferguson Tractor
1) YELLOW Type 1 Tractor/Steering wheel UNPAINTED wheels GREEN or BROWN driver
2) YELLOW Type 2 Tractor/Cast steering UNPAINTED wheels GREEN or BROWN driver
3) RED Type 3 Tractor UNPAINTED wheels GREEN driver
4) GREEN Type 3 Tractor UNPAINTED wheels BROWN driver
5) DARK-ORANGE Type 4 Tractor BLACK pmw GREEN driver
6) DARK-ORANGE Type 4 Tractor RED pmw GREEN driver
7) YELLOW Type 4 Tractor RED pmw METALLIC BLUE driver
8) METALLIC GREEN Type 4 Tractor RED pmw METALLIC BLUE driver
9) PALE-ORANGE Type 4 Tractor BLUE pmw GREEN, BLUE or BROWN driver
10) PALE-ORANGE Type 5 Tractor BLUE+ SILVER pmw GREEN driver
Variation 3: Type 3 red tractor with front flanges, umw (smooth on front), green driver
Variation 5: Dark-orange type 4 tractor, black thin pmw, green driver, type 1 box
Variation 5: Dark-orange type 4 tractor, black pmw, green driver, type 2 box
Variation 8: Metallic green type 4 Tractor, metallic blue driver, type 2 box
Variation 9: pale-orange, blue pmw, dark-brown driver
Variation 10: type 5 Tractor, pale-orange with 'Muir-Hill' wheels
Types 1 & 2 (left) front wheel bosses, wide umw,
Type 4 (right) front axle flanges, thin pmw