An Allis-Chalmers Tractor Collection with a Nostalgic Touch

A Minnesota woman builds a collection of Allis-Chalmers tractors and equipment in every size imaginable.

| March 2019

 Bonnies-collection
Bonnie Bauer’s collection of Allis-Chalmers tractors includes a pair of AC Model Gs with engines (at left), a pair of rare Model G pedal tractors (right), and a 1948 Model G Allis-Chalmers tractor (far right). Photo by Bill Vossler.

Even though there were other tractors on the farm near Faribault, Minnesota, where she grew up, Bonnie Bauer was allowed to drive only one: an Allis-Chalmers WD45. “That was the only one Dad would let me drive while raking hay or straw,” she says. That was also the one that started her collection of Allis-Chalmers tractors of all sizes.

Today she’s gone full-force in collecting Allis-Chalmers machinery, including Precision Model AC farm toys, two sizes of what might be called “mini” Allis tractors that she takes to shows, and 20 full-size Allis-Chalmers tractors.

Bonnie-and-Paul
Bonnie and Paul Bauer. Photo by Bill Vossler.



Go big or go home

Bonnie attends several antique tractor shows every season. At one, she met an exhibitor who had an Allis-Chalmers B and an Allis-Chalmers Industrial B. “He called the IB an ‘Itty Bitty’ instead of its real name,” she says, “and I decided that I needed one of those small Allis tractors.” Luckily for her, one turned up at a household auction soon after.

As Bonnie added larger Allis-Chalmers tractors to her collection – a WC, RC, C, CA, WD and WD45 (she and her husband, Paul, set up the WD45 for their daughter, Mary, to use at tractor pulls) – the Bauers began to run out of room for storage on their farm. They solved the problem in a unique way. “Paul restored 38 of his John Deere tractors, and we sold them so we’d have more room,” she says.



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