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Geelong International Harvester W6 & Variants History 1948-1973 by Craig Pink

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This documents contains a breif history of IHC W6/Farmall M tractors & variants written by Craig Pink.

For books and manuals on these International Harvester tractors, refer to the IHC section of our catalogue.

Geelong International Harvester

W6/Farmall M Tractors & Variants 1948-1973

With very little information in print to date related to the old Geelong International Harvester Works, a dedicated group has been busy digging up history for a possible future publication titled "THE LIFE AND TIMES OF THE GEELONG INTERNATIONAL HARVESTER WORKS". We have compiled a very brief summary of the Geelong W6 tractor and its successors, along with significant Geelong IH designs/achievements until now unacknowledged.


Twelve months ahead of any British International Harvester tractor production, September 1948 saw the first W6 tractor drive off the assembly line at the Geelong International Harvester Works. An initial batch of 400 W6 tractors were assembled, then the first of the Geelong Farmall M's followed. Early Geelong assembly consisted of a high USA imported content (including engines), but as time went by more parts were made locally which cut down on shipping costs/import duties from USA. Geelong assembly switched between the W6 and Farmall M on a single production line depending on demand, the Farmall M & later variants were produced in much smaller numbers right throughout production at Geelong compared to the standard tread W6 and it's successors, this was due to the broad acre style farming undertaken in most parts of Australia which favoured the W6 style tractor over the row crop adjustable wheel equipment of the Farmall M.

Nowadays a lot of confusion exists between the identification of USA built and early Geelong assembled tractors, anything USA built had a good quality Serial Number plate which was clearly stamped "Made in USA", etc. Geelong production used an Aluminium Serial Number plate, the chassis number and engine rpm were stamped on it, but the "Made in Geelong" etc... was only printed/painted onto the Aluminium. The paint on Aluminium did not last well over the years, so nowadays very few are left to tell us where it was built, people often presume USA when most of the time the tractor was built at Geelong. By early 1951 a total of 4,900 W6 and Farmall M tractors (including Industrial variants) had come off the assembly line at the Geelong IH Works.

This first series Geelong W6 had "MADE IN GEELONG" as place of manufacture and "W6" included on bonnet side decals. This style bonnet/grille stayed with the Geelong AW6, SAW6, SAWD6, AW7, AW7D until replaced with the Geelong built A554 standard tread tractor after mid 1961. NOTE: The cast chassis frame beside engine used on the USA style W6/AW6 tractors built at Geelong.
Frist series Geelong W6 on the back of a truck
This first series Geelong Farmall M had "GEELONG" as place of manufacture and "M" included on bonnet side decals. This style bonnet/grille stayed with the Geelong Farmall AM, SAM, SAMD, AM7, AM7D until replaced with the Geelong built Farmall A514 in 1962.
NOTE: The USA style channel iron frame used beside engine, this was used on the W6 style tractor built at Geelong from mid 1953 onwards.
First Geelong Farmall M at a rally


Illustration from the Farmall AM Parts Book
Drawing of a Farmall AM

The AW6 and Farmall AM tractors were produced at Geelong from early 1951, the 10,000th Geelong built tractor came off the assembly line in late 1952 (around September), close to 5,850 AW6 and Farmall AM tractors (including industrial variants) were produced at the Geelong IH Works between early 1951 and ceasing production in mid 1953. The agricultural versions for farm use were known as Australian made "McCORMICK INTERNATIONAL" tractors, Industrial variants generally had "INTERNATIONAL" on bonnet sides.


From early 1954 the Geelong IH range now included 6 recently introduced new models, advertising termed it "The widest choice of Australian manufactured tractors to choose from! Six models - all with a full line of matched equipment! AOS-6 for orchards and vineyards - AOS-6 standard for mixed farms. Super AW-6 and SAWD-6 for wheat areas. Farmall Super AM and SAM-D for row crops and tall crops".
Industrial variants were also available, the Industrial variant of the AOS6 was the AIS6, the SAI6 was based around the SAW6 etc.
Copy of a May 1955 ad showing range of models

Released just after mid 1953, an initial batch of 350 of the new AOS6 tractors were built, followed by the release of the "SUPER" AW6, (now having a 4" bore), then the new SAWD6 (Diesel) was released very late in 1953, followed by the Farmall SAM, and then the SAMD released in early 1954. As with previous Geelong production the tractors were built on a single production line in batches depending on demand. Significant design work at Geelong IH went into the development of the Diesel engine and also the all Geelong design 3 point linkage released with this series. The AOS6 was not available as a Diesel, but came in 2 models, the "Orchard" which had a down swept exhaust, and the "Standard" mixed farm version which had an upswept exhaust, the AOS6 was never termed a "SUPER" and retained the smaller 37/8" bore of the W6/AW6 and Farmall M/AM.

Illustrations from the Super AW6 Parts Book
Right hand side of SAW6 Left hand side of SAW6

This original AOS6 "Orchard" tractor was amongst a small number of very early AOS6 production painted White as demonstrator models, some such as this were later repainted Red, the original White paint on this tractor shows very clearly today as it approaches 60 years of age. Having the Serial number plate on left side proves beyond doubt this is in very early production as serial number plates were shifted to opposite side to accommodate the larger battery box on the "SUPER" AWD6 released in very late 1953. Note also the channel iron chassis frame beside engine now used along with the Farmall M style clutch housing, this allowed the "lift all pump", (better known as the "belly pump") to be used which gave the standard tread tractor hydraulic pressure which the Australian market now demanded in early 1950's era.
AOS6 Orchard
The all Geelong design 3 point linkage, this earlier AOS6 uses the "Belly pump". A live engine driven hydraulic pump was available from IH in USA, but Geelong IH had to favour British content wherever possible to limit USA import duties, (this was tied up with politics and also a Government Bounty paid for Australian content in manufacture of tractors). After mid 1950's the transmission driven belly pump became less attractive due to live engine driven hydraulic pumps being more readily available.
NOTE: British and USA IH never used this style 3PL with hydraulic ram enclosed under transmission top on their Farmall M or W6 style tractors.
W6 3 point linkage

The Geelong built "SUPER" AWD6 introduced Diesel power to many Australian farmers from late 1953.
In co-operation with British IH, this Diesel engine shared some common parts with the W6 kerosene engine which it was derived from. Geelong IH had significant input into the design of this Diesel engine, sadly, today this plus many other Geelong IH designs fail to rate an acknowledgement.
Note the cast spacer block above front axle to lift tractor level again as the SAW6 and SAWD6 used 30" rear wheels compared to 26" on the AOS6 tractor.
Super AWD6


The AW7 kerosene tractor with the long awaited live engine driven hydraulic pump, the kerosene model pictured is highly rated amongst collectables nowadays. The White painted grille followed USA trends of the late 1950's, most appear with White paint around bonnet side badges "McCORMICK INTERNATIONAL" etc.
NOTE: Some super series/AW7 range were given the White stripe treatment along lower bonnet/fuel tank by owners/dealers after the release of the A554 tractor in 1961.
AW7 Kerosene tractor

From early 1957 the AW7 tractor range was produced at Geelong, these included the standard tread tractor models - AW7 kerosene and AW7 Diesel, power steering was also now available. The Farmall range was now called the Farmall AM7 kerosene & Farmall AM7 Diesel. The AW7 Diesel tractor proved popular and sold very well, the AOS6 stayed in production until being discontinued in 1958, no other replacement Orchard version was introduced from the W6 style tractor, a B250 style tractor was then converted as an Orchard version, but not many were sold.

The Farmall AM7 Diesel, due to the low numbers built, any Geelong built Farmall Diesel is especially very collectable nowadays and brings a premium price
AM7 Deisel tractor

For production figures/specifications on the Geelong IH tractor range up to 1960 see the book Antique Tractor Service Guide for Wheeled Tractors sold in Australia 1938-1960 as listed in the Plough Book Sales website.


The standard tread A554 Diesel tractor. The "McCORMICK INTERNATIONAL" is prominent on bonnet sides, the White paint now followed along bonnet side/lower fuel tank. An A554 kerosene version is highly collectable nowadays.
A554 Tractor
Advertising of 1965 promoting the new Farmall A554 tractor built at Geelong, note the single front wheel available for £14.10.0.
1965 advertisement for the new A554

Released just after mid 1961 the new A554 standard tread tractor now featured live/independent PTO (derived from USA designs), revved up to 1920 rpm and producing 55hp, the A554 was pushing the limits of the now dated W6 rear end. Rear end failures were common in heavy work, updates (mostly heavier bearings) kept the local IH name intact. The Farmall AM7 series was still built in small numbers until replaced by the Farmall A514 in 1962, the Farmall A514 used the A554 style fibreglass grille, but did not include the higher rpm or live/independent PTO of the A554 standard tread tractor and mechanically, it was of little difference to the Farmall AM7 Diesel tractor it replaced. Various Industrial versions were also available which were based on the A554 tractors. A small number of A554 kerosene tractors were built in early production, but were phased out due to the popularity of Diesel power, although petrol versions were still available in some industrial applications. The Farmall A554 tractor was released in 1964, and was now mechanically based around the A554 standard tread tractor (live/ independent PTO available, also used higher rpm) The DPA rotary fuel injection pump was used on later production A554 tractors, this replaced the earlier in line style pump used previously.

THE GEELONG "564" TRACTORS 1966-1973

Early production 564 standard tread tractor at Melbourne Show, September 1966. The Farmall 564 rowcrop version used the same grille style.
NOTE: the "INTERNATIONAL" decal on bonnet compared to "McCORMICK INTERNATIONAL" on previous Geelong IH tractors
Farmall 564 tractor, black and white photo

Released just after mid 1966, the 564 standard tread tractor differed very little mechanically to the later production A554 tractors which used up-rated engine clutch and also up-rated bull gears on rear axles, with engine speed of 1970 rpm which gave 61hp, 18" front wheels were also used to better match rear wheel height to keep tractor level. The 564 tractor also used a new updated grille style, the 564 series "B" was introduced around later 1969, the main difference being the introduction of a paper element air cleaner. The Farmall 564 replaced the Farmall A554 in early 1967, the Farmall 564 series "B" was also introduced around the time of the 564 standard tread tractor. Production of both 564 series "B" tractors had ended by early 1973, Geelong was the last factory to be still building the W6 style tractor which finished in USA as the 560 in 1963, British production ended in 1970 with the B450. The 264 Diesel which started production at Geelong in the SAWD6 carried on being available as a stationary power unit for several years from Geelong IH, British production of this engine also carried on for some years after as was the engine used in the BTD6 crawler.

564 standard tread tractor built at Geelong, this was the last of the IH W6 style tractors built which started in USA as the Farmall M in July 1939, and USA W6 in May 1940
564 tractor at vintage machinery rally

For further information relating to the Geelong International Harvester products and history contact –

Craig Pink
C/- Post Office
Beeac Vic 3251

For further reading, try the following books by Sarah Galloway
International Harvester Australia: Geelong Works
Book cover photo
Australian International Harvester Tractor 1948-1982 Identification Guide
book cover photo

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