Note: This feature is in the May TF 2017 issue.
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The Allis-Chalmers name was, without a doubt, closely associated with the modernization of North American agriculture in the 20th century. Based in West Allis, Wis., A-C produced a vast variety of manufactured goods in its heyday. Farm machinery was only a part of the puzzle, with industrial, construction, electrical and military products in the mix. Allis even dabbled in the nuclear energy field for a period in the 1950s. Readers of this magazine would most likely be more interested in the innovative tractors and harvesters that made Persian Orange a familiar sight on the farm landscape.
Toy Farmer has chosen two of these tractors for its 2017 National Farm Toy Show Nov. 3-5 in Dyersville, Iowa, Toy Farmer is issuing an Allis-Chalmers D21 in 1/16 scale and an Allis-Chalmers 440 in 1/64 scale. For each model, 40 orange chrome chase untis will be randomly inserted into the production run. Order forms with details are included in this month's Toy Farmer.
INTRODUCING THE D21
1963 saw the introduction of the Allis-Chalmers D21 row crop tractor, which was most notable in its being the first A-C tractor rated at 100 horsepower. Powered by an Allis-built six-cylinder diesel, the D21 actually was rated in the Nebraska rests at 103 horsepower at the PTO.
Horsepower was equated with productivity in the boom years of the 1960s, and nearly all manufacturers were aiming for the 100-horsepower mark. The early Wagner and Steiger four-wheelers of the late 1950s were the earliest, but the "row crop" tractors were not far behind. John Deere and Minneapolis-Moline hit it in 1962, Oliver and Case in 1964, followed by IH in 1965. To say this marketplace was crowded would be an understatement.
The "D" series of A-C tractors were rolled out in 1957, with the D14 leading the parade. The D14 was built in gas or propane power, but only tested at a tad over 30 drawbar horsepower. Not only did the D21 represent a huge power jump, but it featured a much different styling. Full fenders were a fist for Allis tractors. A bigger rear fuel tank holding 52 gallons allowed the D21 to perform about 10 hours of fieldwork without refueling. A squared-off grille finished in shiny chrome on the early models (1963-1064) was later replaced with cream-painted metal.
The higher horsepower demanded a beefed-up power train, and the "Power Director" transmission offered eight forward and two reverse speeds. Hydrostatic power steering on the D21 was a first for A-C and two 12-volt batteries made cold starting easier. The D21 was upgraded in 1965 and labeled a Series II. The big change was the addition of a turbocharger and intercooler to the Allis-built six-cylinder 426-cubic-inch diesel engine. The additions boosted the horsepower to 127, measured in the Nebraska tests at the PTO. The upgraded Series II cost a farmer a bit over $10,000 in its last year of production.
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