Eventually the cheerful orange paint scheme had to be consigned to history however as the onset of World War II in 1939 saw a change to green paintwork – apparently to try and make the rows of tractors at Dagenham look a bit less conspicuous to overflying enemy aircraft. This would be the last incarnation of the Standard Fordson and become the only tractor produced in large numbers during the Second World War. The change to green also meant a few alterations to the tractor itself and the difficulties associated with the engine problems on the orange tractors were addressed when head and piston alterations were made.
With the outbreak of World War II the Fordson would once again be called upon to help Britain survive under the threat of food shortages. With this in mind and the war looming on the horizon, the British Government and the Ford Motor Company agreed a deal whereby the government would stockpile 3000 Fordson tractors in readiness for the effects of the coming conflict. According to some sources the stockpiled tractors were all painted an all-over yellow colour to help identify these particular machines. When the war did arrive in August 1939 the 3000 Fordsons were ready and waiting and, with the Dagenham plant still producing them, they were soon joined by thousands more throughout the war.
The Dagenham factory was now producing the green Fordson N tractors at the incredible rate of up to one hundred a day and soon, on 10th November 1943, the 100,000th Dagenham built tractor came off the end of the production line.
Shortage of raw materials did lead to a few changes, such as the narrowing of the rear mudguards in an effort to save steel supplies. Apart from this the tractor remained the same throughout the war years, although various different experiments were carried out with regards to engine types and different transmissions and many were used by the military as aircraft tugs and for general haulage duties, often with specially built modifications.
With most vehicle manufacture coming to a halt because of the need to produce war materials, the Fordson was the only tractor available in any quantity and soon became an even more familiar sight than it had between the wars. One great advantage of the Fordson N was that it was basically a very simple tractor and, although it certainly had its moments, it was actually a very reliable machine and it proved to be the tractor most often encountered by a band of hard working women known collectively as the Land Army. Due to the shortage of farm labourers, women were drafted in to replace the men leaving the land for the front. The newcomers had a crash course in agricultural techniques including tractor driving.