Here is some tractor history that Allis-Chalmers and John Deere enthusiasts can get interested in. The word in the AC world is that John Deere was rather pleased when Allis-Chalmers finally stopped making tractors on December 6, 1985. Rumor has it that John Deere was so thrilled that it (whoever “it” was at Deere & Co.) sent out a letter to the dealers shortly after. What did this letter say verbatim? That is the million dollar question. Allegedly it had essentially said that John Deere could finally breathe a sigh of relief that its orange competitor was out of the game.
I have looked into this before, and I came up empty-handed. I contacted John Deere and asked them if any such document was sent out. They said they had no record of it. I am opening the case back up for further investigation. I have my own thoughts about this letter.
When I first heard about this letter a few years ago, I had to grin. I am an AC enthusiast and to hear that John Deere was afraid of Allis-Chalmers until the very end was music to my ears. Since I began investigating this again today, I am starting to have my doubts about it. I can believe that JD sent out some sort of letter, but I have my doubts that it was about one competitor shutting down. It just doesn’t add up. Why?
- John Deere was ahead of Allis-Chalmers- why would they worry?
- Other names, bigger in the tractor market than AC, were going out! What about International Harvester?
- Would John Deere REALLY send out a letter about this?
- Why have we not seen a document yet or heard more about this?
I don’t want to discredit the letter, but I do have my doubts. We need more substantial evidence then just some hearsay information. I have emailed John Deere about this subject again. I have also emailed some John Deere dealerships and asked them if they recall a letter or have any information about it. I will follow-up with any information I find out about this. The John Deere dealership owners should know or remember this. I am really looking forward to solving this rivalry mystery. If you have any information about this, please comment.