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Tractor Treasures: This tractor competed against horses.

Tom J Bechman 1, Editor, Indiana Prairie Farmer

November 26, 2019

1 Min Read
Allis-Chalmers WC tractor
READY TO ROLL: Eric Acker, Morgan County, Ind., has this Allis-Chalmers WC in field-ready condition. This photo was snapped when it was parked behind the Pioneer Village barn at the Indiana State Fair.

Compared to earlier models produced by Allis-Chalmers, the WC began to show what the “modern” row crop tractor would look like. Some versions still had hand cranks, while others had batteries and starters. Some had both. The WC never achieved classic tractor status quite like the WD-45, but it filled a gap when farmers were still wavering between continuing farming with horses versus buying a tractor.

Our camera caught this WC at the Indiana State Fair. It belongs to Eric Acker of Morgan County. It looks like it could head to the field and go to work.  The tractor is a 1937 model, which was the last year Allis-Chalmers produced the unstyled WC. The first WC appeared in 1933.

According to, one of its claims to fame is that it was the first rubber-tired tractor tested in the Nebraska tractor tests. Yet some early units left the factory in West Allis, Wis., on steel wheels.

Styled versions appeared in 1938, featuring a more rounded look to the radiator and other features. The WC only claimed to produce 12 hp at the drawbar, although it produced over 18 hp in the Nebraska tractor tests. Horsepower on the belt was rated at 21 but tested at over 25. It was a two-plow tractor.   

Some early units were powered by a four-cylinder, Waukesha, 3.0-liter gas engine. Allis-Chalmers four-cylinder, 3.3-liter engines were also used, both distillate and gasoline versions. All styled models used the Allis-Chalmers four-cylinder, 3.3-liter engine — either the gas or distillate version.

About the Author(s)

Tom J Bechman 1

Editor, Indiana Prairie Farmer

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