Sweet Danish
Tractor & Machinery|December 2017

A Bukh tractor is a rare sight – particularly in Northern Ireland. Chris McCullough takes a look.

Chris McCullough

Red vintage tractors from a number of brands are plentiful across the UK and Ireland, but there is one particular tractor on a farm in Northern Ireland that is quite a rare sight in those parts. This elusive tractor is in fact a Bukh D-30, manufactured in Denmark in the late ’50s and one that was never marketed in the UK and Ireland.

As with any rare tractor, its journey through the decades can make an interesting topic of discussion and this one is certainly talked about quite often. This Bukh D-30 belongs to Hubert Ritchie who runs a dairy farm close to Killinchy in Co. Down. Collecting tractors has been Hubert’s hobby for the past quarter of a century and although he has some other interesting models, it’s the Bukh that grabs all the attention at shows.

Hubert’s D-30 was made back in 1958, seven years after the Danish company made its first tractor. The company still exists today and is exclusively involved in the manufacture of marine diesel engines, predominantly for lifeboats, but started off making engines for cars.

In fact, the Bukh company was founded by Jens Bukh and Johannes Gry, two men that were born in Denmark but who had met in the United States while working in the automotive industry. Upon their return to Denmark, in 1904, the duo set up the Bukh & Gry company in the small town of Horve and set about building engines there.

The first engine off the production line is said to have been a two-cylinder, four-stroke engine rated at 10-12 horsepower. Following use in their own Bukh & Gry motor car, based on Ford, Packard and Franklin, the two-cylinder engine proved to be a bit of a disaster.

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