Allis-Chalmers Tractor Production Ends

End of line

Today is a rather sad milestone in Allis-Chalmers History. On this day back in 1985 the last Allis-Chalmers tractors rolled out of the West Allis Works. The agricultural division had been sold off to Klockner-Humboldt-Deutz (KHD) of West Germany in May of that same year. The tractor plant was not included in the deal. Essentially KHD had bought production of the 6000, 8000 and 4w305 tractors until the end of the year, a publicity stunt for loyal AC customers.

Allis-Chalmers had been hurting in the 1980s. Other divisions were sold off, shut down or consolidated. The agricultural line was what was holding them up, but then it too came crashing down hard. The sprawling West Allis Works that once employed thousands of workers was down a couple hundred.  An Allis-Chalmers model 6070, serial number 1972, was the last tractor to roll off the assembly line at 10:26 a.m. that morning. Workers snapped pictures, shook hands and said good-byes. Seventy-one years of making tractors quietly came to end that December.

"Friday was the last day on the job for most of the tractor assembly liner workers a the Allis-Chalmers plant in West Allis, and men clowned around in front of a tractor while their friends took pictures."(Milwaukee Journal Dec. 7, 1985. Page 22)

“Friday was the last day on the job for most of the tractor assembly line workers at the Allis-Chalmers plant in West Allis, and men clowned around in front of a tractor while their friends took pictures.”
(Milwaukee Journal Dec. 7, 1985. Page 22)

Today the legacy of Allis-Chalmers lives on in books, magazines, memorabilia, shows, and tractors collected and restored by enthusiasts. The parent company AGCO (ALLIS-GLEANER COMPANY) is the controlling company of the Allis-Chalmers brand, although they have forsaken it just as Deutz had done. AGCO discontinued its line of AGCO tractors, painted orange, just a few years back.

** For further information pick up these great books!**
Allis-Chalmers Farm Machinery 1914-1985 by Norm Swinford
The Allis-Chalmers Story by C.H. Wendel

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10 comments on “Allis-Chalmers Tractor Production Ends

  1. Duane says:

    Glad i got mine before they closed! Best tractor ever!!

  2. Richard Hare says:

    I Was there to ship the last tractor after the plant closed

  3. richard heine says:

    working every day restoring the orange i believe that only now are the others just starting to catch up to ac allis chalmers was so ahead of the others i owen many ac and will keep alive

  4. nathan potts says:

    it would be so amazing that if someday somebody would start allis chalmers back up making tractors like the new john deeres but painted orange…..i think about this all the time

  5. Mark T. Megliore says:

    I’m an orphan twice: first my beloved Allis Chalmers then Pontiac. Not a day goes by that I don’t fantasize that Allis and Pontiac are still around. If they were I would buy one (of each) tomorrow.

  6. brenda says:

    My Dad purchased the Allis-Chalmers 6070 tractor, and while doing an oil change found inscription saying it was the last tractor off the assembly line. This tractor is used every day and is joined by about 16 other Allis-Chalmers tractors, and Gleaner equipment.

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