Farm Classics with Peter O'Brien
DAVID Brown tractors need no introduction in West Cork. The red and white rose tractors were well represented by dealers Atkins McKenzies of Carrigrohane Rd, whose branch in Bandon played a supporting role.
The 990 and 995 were manufactured at the newly configured assembly line at the Meltham factory from 1971, while the 996 joined its siblings after its launch in 1973 and saw production through to 1979.
The colour scheme of the complete range of tractors underwent a significant change in 1973 with the merge of David Brown and Case under the umbrella company, Tenneco.
Gone was the chocolate and cream of the late 60s, replaced by orchid white, red and black which were the official colours of both tractor brands with the Case name creeping along the bonnet of the David Brown tractors.
The 996 is powered by a four cyclinder David Brown AD4/55 engine which is renowned for being a sprightly, economical and reliable engine.
The 996 benefited from a syncromesh gearbox, providing an ‘easier on the move’ gear change.
Producing a 1970s market averaging 64hp, what separated the 996 from the 995 is a hand lever-operated clutch for the PTO.
996 cabs come in many guises. The model was initially launched with the company’s difficult to access and primitive WeatherFrame cab. New noise regulations of under 90DB in the UK led to the development of the Q Cab in 1976 further upgraded to the VQ cab in 1978. Boasting hydraulic clutch and brakes, the new cabs had much needed improved access, as well as a redesigned dash complete with grab handles on top, as well as on the mudguards.
Operators will be familiar with the conveniently placed run/stop lever and hand throttle inside the left door – within arm’s reach from the ground.
An almost flat, rubber mounted floor led to the relocation of the gear stick to the right of the operator with the foot throttle being tucked in to the right of the dash console, often leading to a stiff knee after a long day!
Sliding windows closed off the rear of the cab, with a heater and radio also on offer. The right wing of the cab offered an opening window, with a toolbox housed on the opposite wing. Also worthy of note was the option of a low profile cab, as well as a Deluxe Sekura cab.
David Brown customers of the 70s will fondly remember Peter Wolfe of Atkins McKenzies, as well as sales manager Brendan White.
While today, storeman Jerry Dorgan is the resident David Brown/Case expert.
Contact Peter at [email protected] or see Instagram @flashphotoscork
David Brown 996
David Brown 3.59 litre
Years of manufacture