130 Pedal Tractors Strong: Allis-Chalmers Enthusiast Favors Antique Farm Toys

For this Allis-Chalmers collector, full-size tractors can’t compete with antique farm toys.

| May 2010

Eugene Barth has a passion for the Allis-Chalmers line.

That’s evident when visiting his rural Black Creek, Wis., home. A unique mailbox, a street sign at the end of his driveway and antique pieces decorating flower beds in his yard showcase the Allis brand. But that’s not all: Eugene’s basement is chock full of farm toys and his machine shed holds 20 full-size tractors and implements.

“My collection of toys began when I bought a toy tractor at Farm & Fleet. It was a WD-12 like the one we had on our farm when I was a kid,” Eugene explains. “One thing led to another.”

Trading up to tractors

After he began collecting toys, full-size tractors soon followed – even when that wasn’t Eugene’s intent. It started on the day he put a “for sale” sign on his van and parked it in front of his home. He got an offer, but not the one he expected. “A guy wanted to buy it but didn’t have cash,” he recalls. “He offered to trade me an Allis-Chalmers tractor for it and I couldn’t resist.”

Eugene’s full-size collection includes six 1948 Model G’s. Allis also sold a line of implements for the Model G, and Eugene is trying to get one of each (so far he has a cultivator, sickle mower, plow and planter). The Planet Jr. seeder was among implements developed by other manufacturers for use with the Model G. “It was used for fine seed, like cabbage or beets,” Eugene says. His oldest tractor is an Allis-Chalmers Model E 20-35 built in 1928. Classified as 20 hp on the drawbar and 35 on the belt, it’s considered a 4-plow tractor. Eugene began restoring the steel-wheeled piece over the winter.

An Allis-Chalmers D-10 is the most popular tractor in his full-size collection: “Everyone wants to buy that one,” Eugene says. “In this part of the country, the D-10 is rare. There are more of them in southern states; they’re hard to find here. I came across it when a local dealer told me about it. It was one of the last of that model made. The serial number is 10001 and the last one made, I think, was 10009.”

He also has a 1966 AC combine and an Allis All-Crop grain drill. Collectible Allis-Chalmers signs and memorabilia are everywhere on the property. When an old gas pump (now displayed at the entry to his garage) was retired from active service, gas was selling for 11 cents a gallon. Eugene restored the pump (which is not an Allis piece) using Allis colors and decals to resemble a promotional piece the company issued decades ago. Other Allis treasures include cardboard tubes that once held three filters each, vintage AC paint cans and an unusual spray can from the days before aerosol products existed.

Norman Paulisczak
8/3/2010 7:59:29 AM

I recently found my old Allis Chalmers pedal tractor while clearing my parents estate. The drive mechanism is broken but it is still in good shape otherwise. I have no room to store it nor a way of repairing. Is there a market for these or is there a collector interested in it?