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.
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