Porsche's interest in the manufacture of tractors began in 1934 and continued until the early sixties. PorscheTractors (a member of the PurelyPorsche family of web sites) provides details and photographs of the tractors of this era.

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Generic information on diesel tractors can be found here and information on farming equipment here.

Overview

The 1934 Porsche tractor design included a hydraulic coupling between engine and transmission; this distinctive feature of Porsche-Diesel engines was used in tractors until the last model produced in 1963. Engineers in the 1930's believed that farmers in those days were not able to handle a clutch properly when shifting gears...

Prototypes

Prof. Dr. F. Porsche produced three prototype tractors in 1934, all equipped with petrol engines. The Porsche diesel engine with its unique air-cooled feature was not quite ready for production. Through various tests this led to a fully developed air-cooled diesel engine with a power range from 14 hp to 55 hp. By the early 1950's Prof. Dr. F. Porsche had designed 4 basic models: 1 cyl; 2 cyl; 3 cyl; and 4 cyl - all having individual and interchangeable cylinders and heads. Prof. Dr. F. Porsche also had a 4-wheel drive tractor on the drawing board as early as 1946.

Post war production

After WWII only companies in Germany who were producing farm tractors during and prior to the war were allowed to continue producing those tractors. Since Porsche was not one of these companies it signed licensing agreements with the German company Allgaier GmbH and the Austrian company Hofherr Schrantz. These two companies used the Porsche engine design and called their tractor: Allgaier System Porsche and Hofherr Schrantz System Porsche. In 1956 Mannesmann AG decided to make tractors and bought the license for the Porsche diesel engine design and the Allgaier tractor design. They rebuilt and expanded the old Zeppelin factory just west of Friedrichshafen on Lake Konstanz to a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility with the most modern machine tool and assembly complex then available. Porsche-Diesel tractors were produced in here until the end of 1963. Between 1956 and 1963 over 125,000 Porsche-Diesel tractors were produced.

Porsche tractor history highlights:

  • 1934 Initial design and production of three petrol engined test vehicles
  • 1937 order from the German government to develop the 'Volks-Tractor'
  • 1950 Allgaier starts production of the AP17 aluminum tractor with the Porsche designed 2-cylinder, air-cooled, diesel engine developing 18 hp
  • 1951 Death of Prof. Dr. Ferdinand Porsche
  • 1953 Start of the green Allgaier System Porsche tractors; product offering of 11hp, 22 hp, 33 hp, and 44 hp. Allgaier discontinues the manufacturing of their water-cooled engine design
  • 1954 High sales levels require larger manufacturing facilities. Registration of Porsche-Diesel Motorenbau GmbH, wholly owned subsidiary of Mannesmann AG
  • 1956 New facilities built in Friedrichshafen-Manzell at the old Donier/Zeppelin factory
  • 1956 Start of production of the new line of red Porsche-Diesel tractors including four models: Junior; Standard; Super; and Master (14 hp, 25 hp, 38 hp, 50 hp respectivley)
  • 1957 Domestic sales about 11,000 units and export about 6,000 units; agreement with Deutz to share technology and sourcing of specific parts
  • 1958 Production of approx. 20,000 tractors
  • 1959 Introduction of new product line with 15-20-26-30-35-55 hp
  • 1960 Domestic sales about 10,000 units and export about 6,000 units; iIntroduction of the new Bosch-Hydraulic lifting and regulating system
  • 1962 Mannesmann AG decided to discontinue the manufacturing of Porsche-Diesel tractors
  • 1963 The last Porsche-Diesel tractors were produced at the end of 1963; however, a large number of units were assembled in early 1964. They were assembled in the open because the manufacturing facilities were now used to produce light-weight diesel engines for NATO tanks.

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