FARM CLASSICS with Peter O'Brien
THERE are many factors required for a tractor to achieve a legendary status – performance, power, reliability.
However, every so often a tractor comes along that goes even further, becoming a true icon – an accolade held by the 1970s iconic Ford 7000.
The Ford 1000 series (6y-PreForce) was launched in 1964, and later updated to the Ford Force (6x) tractors in 1968 with engine, gearbox and cosmetic upgrades.
The range spanned from the Ford 2000 to the 5000, peaking at 75hp yet farmers and contractors were constantly looking for more powerful tractors to take on bigger machinery.
In 1971, Ford provided its own solution with the 95hp, turbocharged Ford 7000.
Sitting next to its stablemate, the 5000, the 7000 by all intents and purposes looks almost identical.
Although both use Ford’s 4.2l engine, the 7000 benefits from hardened valves and seats, uprated piston rings as well as pressurised lubrication.
Located below the radiator, an oil cooler was fitted, along with a larger water pump complemented by a 17-inch seven blade fan.
All these engine upgrades were to accommodate the famed Garret AIResearch turbocharger of the 7000 which provided 95hp to the operator.
Furthermore, to deal with the high demand for clean air created by the turbocharger, the air filtration mechanism was changed to a dry paper filter unit, mounted high on the nosecone – a defining characteristic of the 7000. A red warning light was fitted to the dash to warn operators in the event of the filter becoming blocked.
The high specification did not end there, with power steering, an assistor ram, flexible link ends and Ford’s newly designed ‘load monitor’ top link-sensing hydraulics all fitted as standard as well as the Fieco safety cab. While Ford printed the numbers on the bonnet decals in red, on the other Ford Force models 7000 was printed in white as a further defining touch.
A transmission upgrade was available in 1973, with the launch of Ford’s dual power constant mesh gearbox. A lever mounted to the side of the dashboard provided an on the move splitter in effect doubling the 8F/2R to 16F/4R.
The 7000 was the first mass produced tractor by Ford featuring a 4 cylinder turbocharged engine – and was an instant hit.
Tipping the scales at 2.8tons, with 95hp, the tractor was a true pocket rocket and admired for its ability to punch well above its weight, from a 70’s icon to a 21st century treasure, the 7000 is the ultimate crowd-pleaser.
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Years of manufacture