FARM CLASSICS: Imposing stance of the David Brown 1200

June 30th, 2022 10:05 PM

By Southern Star Team

In the mid 1960s, the 1200 joined the David Brown Selectamatic range, with its long and imposing nose becoming a distinctive and familiar sight.

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IN order to compete with the rising horsepower of tractors in the mid 1960s, the 1200 joined the David Brown Selectamatic range with its long and imposing nose.

Manufactured at Meltham Mills, Huddersfield, England, the 1200 took over the reins from the red and yellow 950, and sported the new orchid white and chocolate brown colour scheme, with the red grill, decals and exhaust a fitting nod to its red heritage.

Fitted with a four cylinder 3.6l engine, initial 1200 tractors pushed out 67hp which was subsequently increased to 72hp in line with their Ford and Massey Ferguson adversaries.

The gearbox comprised 6F/2R or 12F/4R with gears selected through an 11 inch dry clutch.

A luxury suspension seat was fitted as standard for the operator, with the primitive weather cab being an option for protection from the elements.

However, the Victor safety cab also found a home on some models.

The 1200 was often extensively ballasted with both wheel nose weights.   

The 1200 boasted both 540rm and 1000rpm PTO speeds, which also saw the addition of a separate PTO clutch for the first time on a David Brown tractor.

The clutch is hand-operated using a hand brake type lever enabling the operator to use, start or stop PTO driven equipment regardless of ground speed.

The Selectamatic feature allowed the operator to switch between settings using a dial for draft work which include depth control, height control and external all of which were governed by a cable sensing the load on the top link housing.

An assistor ram provided extra lifting muscle on the Cat2 linkage while single or double acting spool valves could be specified.

The hydraulic pump was mounted at the front of the engine with a capacity of 22.7l/min

Interestingly, David Brown were one of the few mainstream manufactures to recognise the advantages of four-wheel drive.

While other tractor brands sold their skid units to specialist four-wheel drive companies such as County, David Brown sourced their 4wd axle from Selene of Italy and a 4wd David Brown 1200 joined the product list in 1970.

A neat unit, with a centrally-mounted drive shaft that dived down at an angle from the transfer box. It gave the 1200 an imposing stance although it did increase the turning circle of the tractor. However, the increase in traction more than compensated for this.

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