JCB’s Fastrac is the only tractor to have featured twice on the BBC Top Gear programme, and in 2006, an 8250 capable of 105kph (65mph) got the high-geared JCB Dieselmax underway during the start-up procedure for its successful attempt on the diesel land speed record. All we know is that it is 25 years this month since the Fastrac tractor was officially launched at the Royal Show. It was company chairman Anthony Bamford who struck on the idea of manufacturing an unconventional tractor while he was on holiday in 1984. He saw an opportunity to develop a tractor that had high road speed and which would also be capable of field work, including heavy draft applications. His idea became reality in 1987 following the development of the first prototype of a high-draft agricultural tractor with all round suspension and capable of top speeds up to 75kph (47mph). Built in secret beneath the office block at JCB Transmissions in Wrexham, North Wales, prototypes were entrusted to selected farmers for final feedback and refining before the result of the £12 million Project P120 was unveiled to the media and to the public at the Royal Smithfield Show in 1990 ahead of production start-up in spring the following year. The Selectronic transmission with two-speed powershift was one of the first improvements to the Fastrac introduced two years after the 125 (120hp) and 145 Turbo (140hp) were launched in 1991. And, of course, the new tractors acquired more power – a theme that would recur regularly in the ensuing years – with the addition of the 150hp 155 in 1993 and the 170hp 185. In 1995, JCB pulled another surprise out of the bag with the 1115 – a smaller, lighter, nimbler tractor with a top speed restricted to 50kph (31mph) so it could run on standard rather than high-speed rated tyres. It was joined later that year by a 135hp turbo-engined version. A more powerful, longer wheelbase model – the 148hp 2150 – joined the ‘small Fastrac’ range when in 1998 the line-up was given a significant upgrade with new engines and the Autoshift 54×18 three-speed powershift transmission, which at the same time was introduced in the new two-model ‘large’ 3000 Series. The company entered new tractor market sectors with the 250hp 8250 in 2005, and the 178hp to 270hp 7000 Series in 2008. The former introduced CVT drive to the range while the latter heralded JCB’s own P-Tronic 24×9 speed semi-powershift transmission, which was installed in the 3000 Xtra models from 2011. A two-model 8000 Series was launched the same year with the introduction of the 3210, which took the Fastrac range beyond 300hp for the first time. Previewed at Agritechnica 2013, and claimed as the most advanced Fastrac ever, the current 4000 Series tractors (175hp to 235hp), boast a CVT transmission, self-levelling suspension front and rear, multi-mode four-wheel steering, and a mid-mounted cab.