The 4P or Large Ford Ferguson

I am familiar with the Ford Fergusons, the 9N and the 2N, what is the “Large Ford Ferguson”?

The Large Ford Ferguson or 4P was developed by Ford and Ferguson with the first proto-type being built in 1944. The tractor was designed by two teams, the Ferguson team working in the UK, and the Ford team working in the US. It was powered by a Continental engine, and appears to have category 2 three point hitch like the LTX later developed by Ferguson.

Four additional prototypes were built after the first one was completed. One was sent to the Ferguson team at Coventry in the UK to evaluate, and one was evaluated by the US team. Not sure if that meant one for the Ferguson team in the US and one for the Ford team. The tractor also appears to have a 1 3/8 ” PTO shaft.

After the split from Ferguson, the Ford team in the UK developed the Fordson 5035 which seems to be similar to the 4P. A wooden mockup was built and shown in pictures at the Ford UK plant in Rainham.  There are some in the Ford camp, including Ford tractor engineer Harold Brock, that say the 4P was the basis for the Ferguson LTX. Brock was on the team that designed the 9N. Brock continued with Ford and is largely responsible for the Ford Commander which became the 5000 after the rebuild program.

The 5000 was years ahead of its time and had many innovative features, but was rushed into production against the wishes of Brock. Brock argued the tractor was not ready for production, but Ford management pushed it into production. The result was a massive recall requiring everyone of the tractors to be rebuilt and modified. The stigma of the recall and continued problems with the Selecto Speed automatic transmission pretty much killed it. Today it remains a tractor sought by collectors, particularly in its original Commander trim.

Brock lost his job as a result of the problems, and was hired by John Deere where he headed up the team that designed the New Generation 4-cylinder John Deere’s. The highly popular 4010 and 4020, which became the standard larger tractors were judged by for many years, incorporated the innovations that first appeared on the Ford Commander. The difference is John Deere did not put the new generation tractors into production until they were thoroughly tested and ready for market. As a result Harold Brock is considered the engineering genius who designed a modern line of tractors for John Deere.