Following spells at the Austro-Daimler, Mercedes-Benz, and Steyr companies, all of which benefited greatly from his monumental engineering prowess, Dr. Ferdinand Porsche set up his own design consultancy in Stuttgart on 25th April 1931. Dr Ing. F Porsche’s most celebrated product of the 1930s was, of course, Hitler’s ‘People’s Car – the Volkswagen – but the company was also active in other fields, literally so in the case of its tractor project. Several prototypes were constructed prior to WW2, the earliest of which were powered by petrol engines, before Dr. Porsche turned to diesel power, eventually developing a series of one, two, three and four-cylinder air-cooled engines ranging in output from 14 to 55bhp. As with all things from Dr. Porsche’s fertile imagination, the tractors owed little to convention and much to creativity and efficiency and imagination. An unusual feature of Porsche’s drive system was its hydraulic coupling between the engine and the gearbox, which permitted smooth, clutchless gear changes, reducing wear on the transmission components and was simple to use and maintain by unsophisticated farmers.
After the end of the war, Porsche was barred from producing its own tractors and only companies that had been making tractors prior to and during the war were permitted to carry on, forcing Porsche to license its designs to other manufacturers. Agreements were concluded with two companies, Allgaier GmbH in Germany and Hofherr Schrantz in Austria, and then in 1954 Mannesmann AG diversified into tractor manufacture by acquiring the rights to Porsche’s engine and Allgaier’s tractor design, setting up Porsche-Diesel Motorenbau GmbH.
Registered in 1961, this 2 cylinder Type 219 Diesel Tractor displays the kind of patina only available with unrestored classics, and is all the better for it. The tractor runs well we understand, and shows just 6,630 kilometres recorded. One of the cheapest, and most fun, entries into classic Porsche ownership!