Tractor & Construction Plant Wiki
British Leyland Motor Corporation Ltd (BLMC)
Predecessor Nuffield Organisation,
Austin Motor Company
Successor Rover Group, Marshall Tractors
Founded 1968
Headquarters , United Kingdom
Products Agriculture machinery

British Leyland was a vehicle manufacturing company formed in the United Kingdom in 1968 as British Leyland Motor Corporation Ltd (BLMC). It was partly nationalised in 1975 with the government creating a new holding company called British Leyland Ltd which became BL Ltd (later BL plc) in 1978. It incorporated much of the British owned motor vehicle industry, and held 40% of the UK car market, with roots going back to 1895.

History (abridged)

Main article: British Leyland

A Leyland truck at Driffield Steam Rally next to a earlier Scammell in the vintage Commercial Vehicle line up

A Nuffield Universal tractor

The British Motor Corporation (BMC) was a UK vehicle company, formed by the merger of the Austin Motor Company and the Nuffield Organisation (parent of the Morris car company, MG, Riley and Wolseley) in 1952. The during the early 1960's British Motor Corporation (BMC) was suffering a dramatic drop in its share of the home market, and in 1966 it succumbed to the pressures, and along with Pressed Steel, the car body manufacturer, merged with Jaguar Cars to form British Motor Holdings (BMH) Ltd. BLMC was created in 1968 by the merger of British Motor Holdings (BMH) and Leyland Motor Corporation (LMC) ltd, encouraged by Tony Benn as chair of the Industrial Reorganisation Committee created by the Wilson Labour Government (1964–1970). At the time, LMC was a successful manufacturer, while BMH was perilously close to collapse.

Leyland Motors Limited was a British vehicle manufacturer of lorries and buses. It gave its name to the British Leyland Motor Corporation formed when it merged with British Motor Holdings, later to become British Leyland after effectively becoming nationalized. British Leyland later changed its name to simply BL then in 1986 Rover Group. The Rover Group subsequently being broken up in the 1990's after changing hand several times.

Leyland Agricultural, Construction & Heavy trucks Acquisitions

A Scammell Contractor Heavy haulage tractor

A modern Scammell Heavy haulage tractor - F300 PHN

  • 1952 The Nuffield Organisation and Austin Motor Company merge to form the British Motor Corporation (BMC), so that the Nuffield Organisation's tractor range became part of BMC.
  • 1955: Scammell Lorries Ltd - military and specialist lorry manufacturer bought out
  • 1962 Leyland Motors acquired ACV, the renamed AEC (Associated Equipment Company) company.
  • 1975 Leyland buy Marshall-Fowler from T.W. Ward of Sheffield, for the Crawler tractors and merge them with the Aveling-Barford division to form Aveling Marshall. (Marshalls no longer build wheeled tractors by this tine). The "Road Marshall" roller business is closed down. They develop the Track Marshall line under the Aveling Marshall brand.
  • 1980 Leyland sell off the Aveling Marshall division as part of a program of divesting non core activities. Its bought by businessman Charles Nickerson's Nickerson group and Renamed Track Marshall Ltd.
  • 1981 Alvis division sold to United Scientific Holdings and Alvis plc formed,in 2002 Alvis merged with part of Vickers Defence Systems to form Alvis Vickers which was purchased by BAE Systems in 2004
  • 1982 Leyland Tractors division sold to the Nickerson group to add to the Track Marshall operation. Nickerson then ends tractor production at the Bathgate assembly plant and transfers manufacturing operations to Gainsborough.[1][2]
  • 1985 Nickerson group goes bust and the Track Marshall operation sold to a MBO. The Tractor operation sold to Bentall Simplex who move operations to Scunthorpe.
Main article: Marshall for tractors and
Main article: Track Marshall for the crawler operations.

Leyland Divisions

Sir Don Ryder was asked to undertake an enquiry into the position of the company, and his report, The Ryder Report, was presented to the government in April 1975. Following the report's recommendations, the organisation was drastically restructured and the Labour Government (1974–1979) took control by creating a new holding company British Leyland Limited (BL) of which the government was the major shareholder. The company was now organised into the following four divisions

  • Leyland Cars (later BL Cars) – the largest car manufacturer in the UK, employing some 128,000 people at 36 locations, and with a production capacity of one million vehicles per year.
  • Leyland Truck and Bus – the largest commercial and passenger vehicle manufacturer in the UK, employing 31,000 people at 12 locations, producing 38,000 trucks, 8,000 buses (including a joint venture with the National Bus Company) and 19,000 tractors per year.[when?]
  • Leyland Special Products – the miscellaneous collection of other acquired businesses, itself structured into five sub-divisions:
  • Construction Equipment – Aveling-Barford (Dump Trucks), Aveling-Marshall (Crawler tractors & Rollers), Barfords of Belton and Goodwin-Barsby (Crushers)
  • Refrigeration – Prestcold
  • Materials Handling – Coventry Climax (incorporating Climax Trucks, Climax Conveyancer and Climax Shawloader)
  • Military Vehicles – Alvis and Self-Changing Gears
  • Print – Nuffield Press (which printed the company's publications) and Lyne & Son)
  • Leyland International – responsible for the export of cars, trucks and buses, and responsible for manufacturing plants in Africa, India and Australia, employing 18,000 people

Leyland Engines

For details see Leyland engines


  • Alcester, Warwickshire. Former Maudslay plant, latterly making AEC dump trucks. Sold in early 1970s.
  • Basingstoke, Hampshire. Former Thornycroft plant, latterly a specialist heavy truck plant. Closed in 1969.
  • Bathgate, West Lothian. A new plant opened by BMC in 1961 to manufacture light trucks and tractors. Tractor assembly ended in 1982, truck assembly in 1985, and the plant closed in 1986
  • Southall, London. Former AEC bus and truck plant. Closed 1979.
  • Watford, Hertfordshire. Former Scammell plant building specialist heavy trucks. Closed 1988.

Leyland Tractor models

For earlier Nuffield models and history, see Nuffield.

Leyland Tractors logo

1969 range

A pair of Leyland 154's at the Springwood Rally nr Kelso in 2009

These were essentially the old Nuffields range re-badged with new tin work and cabs plus a new colour scheme at first.

1970s models

New Engines - Leyland 4/98 & 6/98 introduced and tractors re numbered.[3]


Safety cab by Victor now standard, after a change in the Law required fitment of safety cabs to all new tractors

  • Leyland 270


Synchro range introduced - New gearbox replaced old Nuffield unit


  • Leyland 154 Discontinued replaced by Leyland 235
  • Leyland 2100 - becomes Export only
  • Leyland 235 - Export only 28 hp Leyland 1.8 ltr engine (Built by BMC Sanayi in Turkey.
Turbo charged models launched
existing models


All the range revised - now fitted with the Danish built Sekura "Explorer" cab.


Some of the below Marshall tractors were also made as Harvest Gold leylands such as the 804 and 802

Main article: Marshall Tractors
  • Sold to Sold to Charles Nickerson owner of Marshall Tractors Ltd of Gainsborough. All tractor production moved from Bathgate, West Lothian, to the Marshalls Britannia works at Gainsborough by rail.
  • Some ex-Bathgate tractors rebadged as Marshall.
  • New models added :- Some fitted with Perkins engines in-place of the Leyland engine.
  • Marshall 100 - Leyland 6-98
  • Marshall 115 - Leyland 6-98TT
  • Marshall 752 / 754
  • Marshall 852 / 854
  • Marshall 904XL - Leyland 4-98TT
  • Marshall 954

For more details on post 1982 Tractors see the Marshall Tractors article


Marshalls/Nickerson goes bust. Business sold to Theakstones, who move business to Scunthorpe.

Theakstones then sell out to Bentall-Simplex, who then badge various makes of tractors as Marshall.

A former dealer John Charnley and Sons of Brindle, near Chorley, Lancashire buys up stock of parts then buys the remaining stock and the design rights from Bentall-Simplex (but not the brand name) and build some as JWD Field Master to order. (Marshall name belonging to Theakstones who kept the parts business).

Preserved tractors

Please list now examples below with a Serial no or reg no. if possible to distinguish them, or a reference to a feature on them in print.

  • 384-Bray owned by Kenny Martin, Co.Down NI. One of only 10 built.[4]

See also

Collecting of Vintage tractors


  1. Three Decades of Marshall Tractors, by Peter Anderson
  2. Nuffield Leyland & Marshall 1948-85 by Alan T. Condie, ISBN 1-904686-11-7
  3. Tractor & Machinery Magazine December 2005
  4. Classic Plant & Machinery Magazine, No. 92, Dec 2008

External links

Smallwikipedialogo.png This page uses some content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Leyland. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Tractor & Construction Plant Wiki, the text of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons by Attribution License and/or GNU Free Documentation License. Please check page history for when the original article was copied to Wikia