British construction machinery manufacturer JCB has launched a limited edition version of its iconic 3CX backhoe loader in celebration of 70 years in business. 

The ‘platinum’ edition of the 3CX, to be built at JCB’s World HQ in Rocester, UK, will hark back to the original livery of the 3C – with red buckets, full white cab and red wheels.

By 1964, just 11 years after its first backhoe, JCB had already sold 3,000 of these distinctive units.

However, the platinum 3CX will in contrast be fitted with 109hp JCB Tier 4 Final Ecomax engines, manufactured at JCB’s plant in Derbyshire, with a top speed of 40kph.

Melding both their most sophisticated technology and comfort features, the cabs will come with in-built coffeemakers – also harking back to the kettles in early JCB models.

Lord Anthony Bamford, chairman of JCB and son of the late Sir Joseph Cyril Bamford CBE, said: “Seventy years is a long time, but the past is the past and while we are proud of it, our engineers are really only interested in the future and the products of tomorrow.

“You cannot rest on your laurels in business; you have to be thinking of tomorrow, the changing world markets and the products our customers need. That is what makes me and all our people tick.”

Today, JCB has sold a total of 600,000 backhoes, and for the past 15 years has been the world’s largest backhoe manufacturer.

Lord Bamford, who was born on the same day his father founded JCB, added: “The backhoe loader was the building block for the success of JCB, and while we now produce many other machines for construction, agricultural and industrial machines, it remains one of our most important products.”