History of Perkins Engines



7th June, Frank Perkins formed and registered the company F Perkins Limited to develop and manufacture the lightweight high speed Diesel engine.


The first year of trading realised total output of 35 engines.


Total output was 556 engines – 140 employees.


The P6 was launched alongside the P4 (originally Puma) followed by the S6 marine engine. Sales specifications listed a total of 650 different applications.



The entire Perkins product range, including the Wolf, Lynx and Leopard I and II was now available in vehicle, industrial, marine and agricultural versions. Through the war years, the company reorganised itself to devote most of its output to manufacturing marine diesels. Total output during the conflict exceeded 12,000 engines.


Eastfield plant opened and production officially commenced on November 10th 1947 - a turning point in the history of Perkins, transforming it from a small, family business to a large, modern company which would ultimately assume world-leader status


F. Perkins Limited became a public company Simpson and Co of India became the first Perkins Licensee. Perkins had 4,000 people on the payroll producing 25,218 engines Perkins was acquired by Massey-Ferguson on 23rd January


Factory 2 produced its first 4.236 engine. Perkins received the Queen’s Award to Industry for export achievement.  Frank Perkins died on October 15th 1967, peacefully at his home aged 78 New research engineering centre opened in Peterborough.


Perkins opens most advanced noise cell of its type for engine noise measurement  Squish lip combustion system introduced


5 millionth Perkins engine produced.  Prima diesel car engine launched

Acquisition of Rolls Royce Diesel International, later to be known as Perkins Engines (Shrewsbury) Ltd. 10 millionth Perkins engine produced

Alliance signed with ISM for the production of 100 Series range of engines from 5 – 50hp


Perkins receives the Queens Award for Technological Achievement for the Prima engine.  900 Series engine range launched.  Ten-year supply agreement signed with Caterpillar Inc.  Powerpart Distribution Centre relocated to purpose-built centre at Irlam, Manchester.  Prime Minister visits Perkins and presents ISO 9000 accreditation to the five business unit M.D.’s.  Acquisition of Dorman Diesels Limited, Staffordshire, to be known as Perkins Engines (Stafford) Ltd.  700 Series engine range launched in Munich. Perkins signed a 5-year agreement worth more than $150 million to supply engines to Case, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of tractors.  New 1000 Series range of Industrial and Agricultural engines launched.  An £80 million contract to supply engines and parts to NACCO Materials Handling Group Inc., the world’s largest lift truck manufacturer 15 millionth Perkins engine produced.

Caterpillar Inc buys Perkins.


Perkins launches the 400 Series. This latest range is a significant evolution of the successful 100 Series range, extending the power outputs up to 45kW (60 bhp).


Perkins previews 1100 Series at Bauma in April. This range of nine engine models provides power outputs from 39 to 130kW (53 to 175 bhp). 1100 Series launched to the UK and European media in October