Ransomes MG Register


Ransomes MG Tractors. A short history.

The first Ransomes M G (Motor Garden) cultivator was made in 1936. It had Roadless designed rubber jointed tracks and a 600cc Sturmey Archer model T petrol engine driving a gearbox incorporating one forward and one reverse gear. Later MG2’s had a Sturmey Archer type TB engine fitted. The type T engine was considered dangerous and a lot of type T engines were recalled and replaced with the later TB engines. Between 1936 and 1948 about 3.000  MG2’s had been made.

In 1948 the MG2 was superseded by the MG5. The new tractor had an engine designed by Ransomes and now had the fuel tank under the seat. It also came with the option of a Vaporising Oil Kit; like all similar engines, this meant that the Ransomes engine needed to be started on petrol and when the engine was hot the fuel could be switched over to TVO.  The   MG5 still only had one forward and reverse gear. About 5,000 MG5’s were built.



In 1953 Ransomes introduced the MG6 model which had a three speed gearbox and the option of a hydraulic linkage. In 1956 the MG6 was also offered with a Drayton two-stroke Diesel engine or a Sachs diesel (normally for export to France). When production of the MG6 finished in June 1960 about 5.000 had been produced.



In 1960 the MG40 was produced and in a break with tradition it was painted Ransomes lawn mower green. The MG40 was offered with petrol, TVO or diesel engines and later MG40’s were offered with a Sachs diesel engine. It was also offered with steel track guards and the option of a fibreglass bonnet. The final MG tractor was made in 1965 and about 2,000 MG40’s had been made. Total production of all models was approximately 15,000.


As well as the garden tractors Ransomes made a few wheeled MG’s which were labelled ITW (Industrial Tractor Wheeled). Although not horticultural machines I will add them to the list if any come up. Ransomes also made a few dumpers and skimmers on the MG chassis.


Whitlock’s of Great Yeldam in Essex also made a few tracked dumpers and loaders numbered WR4 for the ¼ yard dumper and WR8 for the 1/8th  yard loader; these also used the MG chassis.

After production ceased in 1966 a few MG’s were made up from spares still held at the factory, so at the end of the list there a few machines with numbers that do not appear on the year list.


In the list of machines there is one MG2 with a note,” No works No issued”. This MG2 was the last MG2 made and was assembled by the Ransomes apprentices as a training aid and so it was not entered on the works register.


As a lot of MG tractors went to France the instruction books and all the machine transfers had to be in French. The translation work was done by a Miss Evelyn Thrower who upon marriage became Mrs Moye the mother of Philip Moye a club member from Suffolk.

This year listing is for Ransomes of Ipswich products. Reproduced from “Ransomes Sims & Jefferies , a History of Their Products” By Brian Bell printed by Old Pond Publishing. With thanks to Brian Bell for allowing the use of this information.

   Dave Clark, 2014.

Should you wish to have your machine included on this register please contact Dave Clark who is compiling it.
He can be contacted on 01376 340072 or email djclark89@btinternet.com to let him know your machine serial number, engine number and contact details and you can have your machine entered on the register.

8 responses to Ransomes MG Register

  1. Dave
    Do you know the number of the oldest known MG2 survivor?

  2. Is the register being kept up to date ?

  3. said on June 21, 2015

    Please enter the following three MG’s into register
    MG2 s/n 2235 engine no TB6225 with tool frame and cultivator tines owned by Dick Dunster, Somerset TA70EP
    MG5 s/n 6344 engine no 3006 (petrol) with TS30 & TS42 plough, discs, tool frame with tines, tool frame with potato Rodgers & lifter, front tool frame with L hoes, Mansley 30″ Rotavator owned by Steve Dunster, Somerset TA79LP
    MG6 s/n 12245 engine no 34 250 D with Hydraulics & TS65 mounted plough. owned by Steve Dunster, Somerset TA79LP

    All are restored although the MG5 some time ago and a bit tatty now.


  4. Dave
    I am interested in knowing more about the MG5 listed as Garrets Shunter, are you able to provide any more detail without compromise.

  5. said on June 23, 2017

    Dave I have 3 mg5s 2 of which have no identity plates as far as I can see the has not yet arrived one was supposed to be a mg6 and was bought as such on delivery l found out that it was only 2 speed gear box other. Than that it is in poor state can. you advise me on how to find out these machines history they have been bought from Sussex .
    Scotland .and Buckinghamshire all via eBay other than that I do not know any thing about them another member has been brilliant with advice and a goldmine for spares on these oldies I’m hoping to eventually be able to enter them in shows thanks. Regards. From Henpecked

  6. said on August 1, 2019

    Please could you register my ransome crawler mg2 number 2027 engine number tb 6061and with tool frame and cultivator in bedfordshire

    Many thanks

  7. Please add to the register Ransomes MG2 Serial number 271, engine number TB 6836. With a C29 toolbar. It resides in the town of Twisk, The Netherlands.
    Came from a private museum in Friesland (North of The Netherlands) and allegedly spend it’s working life on a farm there. For pictures, see other posts.


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