Perkins engineering was founded in a small office in Peterborough, UK, in 1932. It was founded by two men, Frank Perkins and Charles Chapman; Frank a superlative salesman and Charles an engineering genius. Their focus was on the diesel engine and their belief that it could revolutionise the motor industry with high performance and low running costs. Peterborough was the perfect place to start the business as it had excellent transport links and so could ensure rapid delivery of products.
Its first high-speed diesel engine was the 4 cylinder Vixen followed by the more powerful version, the Wolf. With its success in the motor industry it expanded into the agricultural industry.
During the Second World War Perkins was instrumental n its production of diesel engines for the war effort.
In 1947, production was moved to the Eastfield site in Peterborough.