I am a Ferguson collector in Ireland. Do you know of any TE-20’s with serial numbers greater than TE 78000?. I am wondering if there are TE-20’s in the USA that were made in 1949 or 1950. It seems many were shipped to the USA from England in 1947 and 1948, to make up for the loss of the Ford Ferguson and while awaiting TO production to ramp up. The factory in Coventry records show over 5000 built in 1949 and a few hundred in 1950. It is unlikely these were for the home market, as the Standard Motor Company engine was the engine of choice in the UK after mid 1948. As TE’s had the same Z120 engine as TO’s, perhaps they went to the USA.
My understanding is that the TE-20 production was slated for the US and the Continental engine was used as the standard motor was not available. The TE-20’s were all shipped to the US to keep the dealers supplied as the last of the 2N’s were being delivered in 1947. October 15th 1948 saw the first TO-20 come off the production line in Detroit. Thus, as the TO-20 line came up and the dealer network in the UK, France (@St. Dennis near Paris), Aust/N.Z. etc was being established, the Coventry plant switched over to the TEA’s .
I also understand that the Detroit TO-20’s supported the US market, and the Coventry TEA-20’s supported the commonwealth market including Canada. The reason for this was importation taxes. A Coventry built TEA-20 could be shipped to Southern Ontario cheaper than it could be driven across the bridge at Windsor, ON. (I think this is true still today). Some TO-20’s have made it north and some TEA-20’s have come South, but I think this migration is by individuals and not from original distribution.
From the SN data I have seen the TE-20 production declined greatly as the TO-20 came on line. Then there was an up tick in production in the mid 80,000’s SN’s. At a 1949 production rate of ~3250/ month for the TE line this 80K SN blip would have been from approximately Feb ’49 to May ’49. Thus the planning for this would have been in Nov-Dec’ 48 or an emergency move in Jan ’49.
Its always good to hear from Ferguson enthusiasts from across the pond. I think we need to do more to cultivate the exchange of information we have as the complete history of these great tractors is something we need to share.