A Varied Trio of Old Tractors

A retired mechanic boasts a set of old tractors comprised of American, French and British machines.

| June 2015

  • Allis-Chalmers D272
    There’s a lovely, warm patina to the old Allis-Chalmers D272 now that the lurid orange paint has faded.
    Photo by Josephine Roberts
  • Allis-Chalmers D272
    This Allis spent most of its life as a maintenance tractor at a local school.
    Photo by Josephine Roberts
  • 1958 Super 202
    This tiny little tractor – an SFV Super 202 – is a French-built vineyard tractor. The crazy cigar-shaped exhaust is similar to that on a Lanz Bulldog.
    Photo by Josephine Roberts
  • 1958 Super 202
    The Super 202’s narrow vineyard design makes the tractor perfect for weaving in between trees and vines.
    Photo by Josephine Roberts
  • Nuffield 10/60
    The Nuffield 10/60 is a classic British tractor. It’s no rarity here, but it’s a good reliable, user-friendly tractor.
    Photo by Josephine Roberts
  • Nuffield 10/60
    It took me a while to find my way around and release the handbrake, but once on board I loved this tractor. It feels strong and solid and it goes like a rocket.
    Photo by Josephine Roberts
  • Allis-Chalmers D272
    Everything you need, right there.
    Photo by Josephine Roberts
  • 1958 Super 202
    There’s virtually no tinwork on this tractor: The bonnet and front end are all made of rustproof fiberglass.
    Photo by Josephine Roberts
  • 202 dashboard
    The 1950s era dashboard on the 202.
    Photo by Josephine Roberts
  • 1958 Super 202
    Cramped design makes accessing the 202’s driver’s seat a gymnastic feat in itself, and there isn’t much legroom once you are up there.
    Photo by Josephine Roberts
  • 1958 Super 202
    The whole nose cone and bonnet lifts up to reveal an excellent front view of the 202’s hot bulb engine, coil and huge spark plug. The heat source is in place ready for starting. When new, the tractor would have been delivered with its own paraffin blowtorch and stand.
    Photo by Josephine Roberts
  • Nuffield 10/60
    Tony uses this tractor for everything. It's fast on the road and it even has a handy place to hang the lunch bag.
    Photo by Josephine Roberts
  • J. Harrison & Co.
    The U.K. agent for these milking machines was J. Harrison & Co., based in the Cunard Building in Liverpool. The company ceased operation in 1935. Until the 1960s, the Cunard Building was also the headquarters of the Cunard Line, the British/American-owned cruise liner company, which this year celebrates 175 years of operation.
    Photo by Josephine Roberts
  • Portable two-cow milking machine
    Tony is fascinated by rural heritage. His collection includes this Page portable two-cow milking machine manufactured by Standard Separator Co., Milwaukee, Wis.
    Photo by Josephine Roberts

  • Allis-Chalmers D272
  • Allis-Chalmers D272
  • 1958 Super 202
  • 1958 Super 202
  • Nuffield 10/60
  • Nuffield 10/60
  • Allis-Chalmers D272
  • 1958 Super 202
  • 202 dashboard
  • 1958 Super 202
  • 1958 Super 202
  • Nuffield 10/60
  • J. Harrison & Co.
  • Portable two-cow milking machine

Tony Jones of North Wales is a pleasant person to visit. Not only is he easy company – someone you can chew the fat with for hours, oblivious to time sailing by – he also has a fascinating set of three very different tractors. It’s a neat and varied collection of tractors: One is of American origin, one hails from over the channel in France and one is totally British.

Whilst Tony’s Allis-Chalmers D272 is American in name, she was actually built at the Allis factory in Essendine, Lincolnshire, here in the U.K. Does this make her British? I don’t think so. To me, all Allis tractors are American, regardless of where they were built.

Tony’s Allis D272 is a bit of a curiosity. She appears to date to 1961 – the casting date on the gearbox certainly reads “21.12.61” – indicating that the tractor might have been assembled as late as 1962. However, as Tony points out, most authorities suggest production of this particular model ceased in 1960, so the date on the gearbox is something of a mystery. Nothing is ever straightforward, it seems. There are always tractors that don’t fit in with what the books have to say.

Tractor with local ties

Tony, a retired mechanic, hadn’t gone looking for an Allis-Chalmers, but she was interesting in that she was a bit different from the Massey Fergusons, Fordson Majors and Fergusons we regularly see in our shows. What clinched the deal for Tony was that this Allis had a connection to the part of North Wales where he lives.



“It is an unusual tractor in that it was clearly one of the last ones made,” he says, “but the real reason I wanted it was because it has something of a local history.” The tractor was used for most of its life as a grounds tractor at Howell’s School, a private school for girls in Denbigh, North Wales.

The Allis was bought new for use at the school, but it wasn’t road registered until a few years later, in 1971. Before that, the tractor had been used solely on the school’s grounds. In 1971, however, Howell’s School acquired land separate from the main campus, requiring the tractor to be road legal. The Allis has a Perkins 3-cylinder engine; these tractors were available either with a 4-cylinder petrol engine or with the Perkins diesel. Tony has left the original grass tires on the tractor, the same ones on it when it was used to mow and roll the school grounds and sports fields. These tires are part of its story as a groundskeeper’s tractor, and in any case tires don’t come cheap, so why not use what you already have?



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