JCB is going back to the future to celebrate its 70th anniversary with a limited edition version of the iconic digger which propelled the company to success.

The company marks its 70th anniversary on October 23rd – the date the late Joseph Cyril Bamford founded JCB in a tiny garage in Uttoxeter making trailers from wartime scrap. To mark the milestone, the company is making 70 of its 3CX backhoe loaders in striking livery that was last seen nearly 40 years ago on the JCB 3CIII model.

Each of these special diggers will roll off the production line at the World HQ in Rocester complete with red buckets and white roofs instead of the customary black finish. And in a nod to the demands of the modern operator, the colourful machines will also be equipped with in-cab coffee makers.

JCB pioneered the backhoe and its popularity was the foundation stone for the success of the company which has gone from one factory in Staffordshire to 22 worldwide. Since the first was manufactured in 1953, JCB has produced more than 600,000 backhoes and now sells them in 120 countries. JCB has also been the world’s biggest manufacturer of backhoes for 15 years in succession with a range that spans 40 models from the compact 1CX through to the mighty 5CX.

JCB Chairman Lord Bamford said: “The backhoe loader was the building block for the success of JCB and while we now produce many other different types of machines for construction, agricultural and industrial machines, it remains one of our most important products.

“The JCB backhoe has not only helped put JCB on the map but Staffordshire and Britain too and I’m delighted that we are producing limited edition models to mark the company’s anniversary. Today’s JCB backhoe is easy to drive and one of the most useful tools around because it can do so many different jobs. The JCB team should be proud of what the backhoe has achieved but business is about looking forward and we will always have an eye on developing this machine still further for our customers around the world.”

The limited edition 3CX backhoes – which have a top speed of 40kph – will be fitted with 109 hp JCB Tier 4 Final Ecomax engines manufactured at JCB’s plant in Derbyshire. They will be fitted with JCB’s LiveLink telematics system which enables owners to monitor the whereabouts of their machine and to manage service needs.