Randy Freshour made the long trek from Idaville to Battleground in Tippecanoe County, Ind., to display his Allis-Chalmers WC at the Hedrick Tractor Day. Counting tractors owned by Bill Hedrick and family, this tractor was one of 186 that sat in the front yard and barn lot of the Hedrick farmstead on a sunny Saturday in June earlier this year.
This 1934 Allis-Chalmers WC carries a special plate stating: “In honor of Wilbur Jones.” Jones was a well-known tractor collector in north-central Indiana who died a couple of years ago. He surely would be pleased by this restoration.
According to tractordata.com, the WC first appeared in 1933 and was produced through 1948. It enjoys one claim to fame: It was the first rubber-tire tractor tested in the Nebraska Tractor Tests. Even so, in the early years, the tractor was available on steel wheels.
The early model that Freshour exhibited features both front and rear wheels with spokes. It’s an unstyled version, with a straight up-and-down radiator and a gas tank with rounded sides. Many early models still could be started with either a crank or starter.
Styled models appeared in 1938, featuring a rounded radiator. As the series progressed, the tractor looked more like the more famous WD and WD-45 models that would follow. Still, Allis-Chalmers produced just under 180,000 WC tractors before production ended.
The WC was a four-cylinder tractor rated to pull a two-bottom plow. The company only claimed 12 hp at the drawbar, but the machine produced 18 hp in the Nebraska Tractor Tests. Most units were equipped with belt pulleys. The WC produced over 25 hp on the belt in tractor tests.
To put this in perspective, many larger garden tractors today bought primarily to mow lawns are rated above 20 hp.