Howard Rotavators

In front of Pike on the right is G206, the oldest known surviving Gem. It dates from 1941 and is the 106th off the production line.

Welcome to my site for all Howard Rotavators, but particuarly their most famous model, the Howard Gem.

 

Please see help pages for details of British Junior Head Gasket Sets -NOW AVALIABLE.

Brief History;

In 1941 Howard introduced their replacement for the British Junior, The "ROTEHO GEM". Production started at G101, these early machines had no reverse gear or differental, also they had what is often refered to as "cycletype" handlebars.

The first 400 machines had a shorter gearbox. At G501, this was lengthened to accommodate the clutch thrust bearing inside the oil bath, instead of underneath the clutch assembly, which needed the engine removing every few hundred hours to enable the grease to be replaced. A J.A.P 600 cc engine provided the power (subject to availability due to war time restrictions.)

At G951, (about 1945) a differental and the more conventional type handle bars were added.The engine was an in house design of 660cc called a British Junior.

In 1947 the series II came out, at number G4801. The main distinguishing features were a pull up reverse gearlever and the word "The Gem" embosed on the chain cover

September 1949 saw the introduction of the series III Gem, at number G14785, the gear selector was changed for the "Car Type" control, The British Junior or J.A.P 600cc engine were options.

In mid 1950's the series IV became avaliable at number G38761 most had the 180degree crank version of the Howard 810cc Twin Cylinder engine, allthough i do have an example from 1959 that has a factory fitted J.A.P engine.

1962 saw the commencement of prototype replacements, designated the Gem 800. Over the next two years, the project was developed extensivley, however Howard came to the conclusion that they were far too expensive to produce so they sold off the machines cheaply. Production figures are a little unclear but 20-50 units has been suggested. Today survivors are very rare, probably only single figures left! 

The series V was offered from number G47067, most had an improved 360 degree crank version of the twin cylinder, but some were specified with the water cooled Sachs Diesel engine.

At number G2541825 the petrol engine was replaced with a Kohler K301T engine and from number G2571945 the diesel was replaced with a Hatz diesel.

In the late 1970's the final drive was altered to give a higher top speed and a Super Version was added to the range with beefed up rotor covers and a higher capacity petrol or diesel engine.

In 1985 Howard went into recervership, and Dowdeswell purchased the rights to the Gem and the 352(an updated version of the Howard 350), but somebody else had allready bought the Gem name so it was redesignated the Dowdeswell 650. Production ceased  in 1997 due to Vibration and noise regulations tightening up and with the number of units sold each year a redesign wasnt cost effective.

The Gem was offered in 18",20",24", and 30" rotor width, allthough the 18" option was dropped in the 1950's. A range of attachments were offered including; a soil shreader, furrower, pto pulley, cutter bar,etc.

 

 This is the same machine as at the top of the page, now that restoration is nearly completed. For the totally finished result please look under photos.

PLEASE NOTE I IN NO WAY ENDORSE OR RECOMEND THE ADVERTS ON THE SIDE OF THIS SITE, THEY ARE THERE AT THE REQUEST OF THE HOST IN ORDER TO KEEP THIS SITE AFFORDABLE-USE THEM AT YOUR DISCRETION.