The Perkins 1006 – a glittering chapter in a proud heritage

In November 2014, the last of nearly half a million Perkins 1006 engines rolled off the production line, marking the end of 30 years of innovative, reliable and economic service.

The 1006 was part of the 1000 family of engines, developed in the mid-80s in response to tougher emission and noise controls around the world, and described in the company’s official history as “the most important engine family for decades”.

It was a vertical inline 6 cylinder 6 litre engine available initially both in a vehicle version, particularly for buses and trucks (known as the Phaser) and also for agricultural and industrial use. The iconic Massey Ferguson MF399 was one of several agricultural tractors powered by the 1006, in this case the 1006-6TWHR providing high performance with a massive 30 percent torque, along with low-cost maintenance and impressive fuel efficiency.

Later, with its high standards of reliability, efficiency and long engine life, it also established a worldwide reputation as an unregulated generator set engine. In its marinised form, the 1006 proved to be an excellent propulsion engine for both pleasure and commercial vessels the world over.

Most engines were exported, and many went into applications built in Australia, Mexico, Turkey, Italy and Lebanon.

The Perkins 1006


The 1006 featured a new and innovative combustion bowl that radically affected the design of diesel engines – the Quadram. The new bowl, the product of Perkins experience married to computer design and laser technology, controlled and optimised air movement in the cylinder, producing more effective and efficient combustion than conventional direct injection systems.

It gave more power and torque, while at the same time reducing fuel consumption, emissions and noise. By reducing the mechanical loading on key engine components, it also helped to improve reliability and increase engine life.

Tradition and technology

Building on the Perkins traditions of uncompromising production standards coupled with the best and latest technology, the 1006 set new standards for diesel engine design.

Production has now ceased – but the influence of the 1006 and its revolutionary combustion system remains in the latest diesel engines. Most of the half-million engines that were produced will continue to give efficient and trouble-free service for years to come.

And the Perkins heritage of traditional standards and groundbreaking innovation continues to guide the design and production of our engines, to the benefit of customers and Original Equipment Manufacturers.