My Historic Allis-Chalmers Green Tractor

Before switching to orange, Allis-Chalmers made green tractors. A family of Allis fanatics has both.

| September 2001

Standing out like a shrub in a tulip field, Nancy Sleichter was, nonetheless, among family. In the crowd of orange iron at this year's Allis Chalmers Days in Homestead, Iowa, Nancy's deep green tractor, an Allis 10-18, was not only a member of the family, it was the grandpappy of all the orange tractors in sight.

But the Allis-Chalmers family tree was not the only one in full bloom in Homestead. Two of the other Allises at the show were owned by Sleichters. Nancy's children were also there, showing their vintage Allis-Chalmers tractors.

The Sleichter family collection began in response to Nancy's somewhat finicky taste in gifts. Nancy's late husband, Richard, was a farmer and the couple lived on their farm outside of Riverside, Iowa. 'My husband had land in Texas,' Nancy explained. 'When he traveled there, I stayed home to take care of our farm and when he returned, he always brought me back items I objected to. Then one day, he brought me back an Allis G.'

The 'G' suited Nancy just fine. It was probably a safe bet, considering Nancy's family had owned an Allis dealership when she was a child. She loved it and was soon driving it. It was not long after the 'G' came to the Sleichter farm that a neighbor stopped by and asked if they knew that the early version of Allis tractors came in green rather than the well-known Persian Orange. Nancy hadn't known, but knew that she would have to have one.

After a little research, the Sleichters found a Allis-Chalmers 20-35 in Kansas. They bought it and had their first green Allis. Soon after buying the 20-35, a friend of the Sleichters said he had seen a Allis-Chalmers 10-18 — the first model the company made — at a nearby farm. At first, Nancy said, they doubted this rare tractor could be so close by. 'We thought we would never see one of these, but there it was.'

Negotiation commenced almost immediately and the Sleichters added the 10-18 to their growing collection.