How did he make his millions? The company and the boy appeared on the same day in 1945, both sired by returning war veteran Joseph. Bamford Jnr took over as chairman and managing director at 29; by 2006, profits had risen to £149m - from £6m three decades earlier - fuelled by a thriving construction sector. JCB, worth an estimated £1.2bn, is still family-owned.
The secret of his success? He's a family man who refers to his staff as 'people who consider themselves part of the JCB family'. He's famous for his car collection, but his familial investments have included a hip-hop record label for daughter Alice. The big Tory donor also has a well-stocked address book: the Blairs dropped by his £5m Barbados beach pad for a cold beer last summer.