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The Little A-Cs: Chapter 2

This book was written exclusively for Yesterday's Tractors Magazine. It is not published in any physical form but only available on this site. No part of this text may be used in any form other than as provided electronically from www.yesterdaystractors.com without express written consent of Yesterday's Tractors. Copyright 1996-1998.

View the table of contents.

2. What are they?

This series was really the first modern small-but-serious tractor produced. It was built by Allis Chalmers to create a new market out of the several million small farms across the United States that could not justify the cost of a tractor and were still using horses for plowing, discing, hauling, and other farm chores.  At the time of its introduction there were no other mainstream tractors in the $500.00 range that were designed to accomodate the small farmer general purpose needs.  There were 4 distinct models put out over a 20 year period. The manufacture of the B model was continued throughout this period while the other models overlapped each other. These were the Allis Chalmers B, C, IB, and CA.  AC also produced 2 stationary versions of the engine from these tractors known as the B-125 and 60H.

The B, C, IB, and CA share a significant family resemblence. They are variations on a common theme. The entire series represented an extremely cost effective tractor for the small farmer that could accomplish virtually any farm task in moderation.  So numerous were these machines that they are still very common on hobby and specialty farms. The fact that these machines are so readily available keeps them from becoming overly expensive collector machines and out in the field doing the same chores they did 40 years ago. Even so, it is a rare tractor show that does not contain at least one of this series. They are easy to haul, easy to find parts for, and a wealth of information is available to guarantee a reasonably accurate restoration for those so inclined to do so.

In the garden, the power to weight ratio coupled with the length provides stability while still having the ground clearance necessary to cultivate. The power and gearing changed over the years and models but from the start was enough to pull from a single bottom 14 inch plow to a dual bottom 16 inch depending on soil condition, more than sufficient for most small acreages. During the course of production the horsepower more than doubled and later hitch systems even lent themselves to easy 3-point conversion opening up even more possibilities for implement use.

Prev Page  Table of Contents   Next Page
1. Introduction
2. What are they?
3. History in Brief
4. Competing Tractors
5. Appearance
6. Identifying Numbers
7. Similarities and Differences
8. Cosmetics: What did they really look like?
9. Tips, Tricks and Maintenance
10. Using the Little Allis'
11. Tune-up Data, Quantities, and Specifications

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