Friday, October 30, 2009

1958 Allis Chalmers D-14

The big city life just wasn't meant to be for 'Spooky Ol Allis' but she came back from the tractor beauty parlor looking pretty good.

This tractor was purchased new by my father back in 1959. Here it is pictured a long way from home in the parking lot of Morrow Collision Center in Lincoln, NE. My son's own and operate this shop.

The tractor spent most of it's years on the farm hooked to a feed wagon. Most years it was busy feeding cattle from October to the following May when the fattened cattle were usually sold. It has always spent it's summers mowing weeds in and around the farm.

Here she has been dismantled a bit and is in the early stages of sandblasting.

Here they have moved it inside to begin the process of replacing several seals that were leaking. "Dad, you can't put a nice paint job on a tractor that is going to be leaking oil all over." Point taken.
They've moved it into the paint booth for the beginning of the painting process. They first applied an epoxy primer to ensure good adhesion of the final coats.
The gauge cluster was one of the first things to be finished. They obtained many new OEM gauges to make the old tractor look as it did when it was new. They ordered new, custom wiring for the tractor and installed it, making allowances for the alternator that had been installed by me years earlier. It originally came out with a generator.
They've brought it back into the booth and taken off the wheels for the main frames' two coats of paint. It was a single stage urethane. Very costly paint but my son guaranteed it would outlast me, and him and his children.
A picture of son Tom after finishing one of the final coats. They did apply three coats to the seat and running boards for extra protection in high wear areas. Tom is in the space suit.
Here I'm seen making good use of visiting hours. Son Dan on the right.

The tractor is completed here and secured to their trailer. My two sons pose for a nice photo before it leaves the big city for it's life back on the farm.
The first driver back on the farm is Colton, our grandson who lives here on the same farm. He is now the fourth generation of Morrow's to operate this tractor.

Daughter Juli and I pose with the Allis. Juli uses the tractor now for mowing road ditches. Or at least will when the goody wears off of the restoration.

Marilyn was impressed with my 'like new' tractor. I thought she looked a bit excited like she wanted a kiss or something.
I guess not.


Elizabeth Mahlou said...

Your post brought back some childhood memories that I have not had in dozens of years. When I was a kid on a farm in Maine, we had horse-drawn equipment (plow, hayrake) -- really. And we had two oxen that we had taught to accept the yoke, especially for plowing. Prince was quite cooperative, a pleasant ox who would do anything you asked, including letting my little brother Rollie ride him. Butch, on the other hand, was wild like me, and I was usually the one charged with taming him enough to yoke him. I would find him in the apple orchard, chewing on pears. (The cows like the apples, but it made the drunk and their milk sour, so we tried to keep them corralled -- Butch, too, but he would knock down the boards against the electric wiring, shorting it out, step defiantly over it, and trot up to the one pear tree in the apple orchard.) If I nagged him to leave the pears behind, he would step on one of my bare feet, gently but firmly pinning me to the ground until he had finished his pear, then he would docilely but also with a bit of friskiness follow me to wear Prince lay, waiting for his partner-in-yoke.

Anyway, after a while, Dad became tired of all this, saved some money, and got a good deal on used 1939 Allis Chalmers tractor. (Now you see why the memory was stirred.) We adapted our horse-drawn equipment to be able to be drawn by the tractor, and Butch and Prince became pets until they died unexpectedly from some unknown disease a few years later.

I was the first child to learn to drive that tractor. I was 13. (When I learned to drive a car at 16, it seemed like a very restrictive environment after three years of open-field driving!) After that I taught my 11-year-old sister, who immediately got tangled in the barbwire fence (I forgot to tell her about the brake), which ended by driver teaching days rather quickly. All eight of children, including my 5-year-old brother, drove that tractor. It became a family friend, just like the oxen.

Thanks for stirring the memory.

Ralph said...

Man is that a great looking tractor. Your sons are talented - really talented.
Park the tractor in the shed.

Dan said...

That last pic could only be described as typical.

EV said...

I've been dying to hear this story and see these photos. I came close to emailing a request. All in all a superb job and an even better family story. And a fond "black and white" memory of crewcut George getting laughs talking about .... Ol' Alice. Thanks!

Gette said...

Great tractor, and glad you plan to keep using it, and not just run it through parades. The tractors stay happier that way.

Jerry in Indiana said...

I think you need to drive that tractor in the 4th of July Parade for a few years while it's still purty.

That Marilyn is a cut-up.

Peter said...

Ol' Alice sure cleaned up well Cliff, looks as neat as a new pin.... Btw will you be my friend on facebook, I opened an acct because all the kids and grandkids were using it, have posted photos etc so who knows I might even use it occasionally.

Paul Nichols said...

Beautiful work, Cliff. I'm sure you are mighty proud of it——and of your sons!

Shannon said...

Awesome job!!! The tractor looks great.

Janell said...

Where do I go to sign up for one of those makeovers? My alternator is hicupping and my generator huffs and puffs going up stiars. (He could even use the cheaper paint.)

Jamie Dawn said...

Maybe it was your breath. Did you have garlic bread that day?

The tractor looks mighty spiffy.
That is SOME paint if it lasts all those years, even in those high wear areas. Your boys did a great job!

Colton looks way too grown up. What is Juli feeding that kid???
Hi Juli! Looking as pretty as ever.

Gargle, then try that kiss again.
Things will likely go better.


Jim said...

Hi Cliff, I had been following that tractor in bits and pieces here. Thanks a lot for the nice write-up.
1958 Allis Ch's D-14 Traction Booster Gauge Panel with one guage stolen (MIA)

JunieRose2005 said...

Hi Cliff!

Oh yes!! That tractor looks good!! :)

Charlie sure liked it-(You KNOW he likes tractors a lot!!)

Peter mentioned FB , I noticed...well-I'm there too-lol- almost everyone is- so if you join up please look me up there! (The real me-June Kellum) FB is a quick way to stay in touch with people-and also it's very easy to post pics there- or videos even!!

Still-I like blogging better-I get to say more stuff!! haha


Anonymous said...

Allis looks great. I remember hauling irrigation pipe with you and Allis a long time ago.

Al in Phoenix

Lanny said...


Allis' rock the farm!

Paul Nichols said...

Cliff, this is my 3rd or 4th visit over here to admire your tractor. My First Wife thinks it's beautiful, too. Your sons' work is worthy of a good magazine article, and certainly it's a chest-pounder for the A-C company. Tell 'em about it—with pics, of course.

EV said...

I'll admit it, too. I've cruised by more than a few times. She's a beauty!

Rachel said...

It was hard for me to picture how it would look when it was finished, when it was sitting there in the shop looking like a space creature, but it sure looks real pretty Cliff! The boys did a fine job.

Yep, I'd be real proud of that, and your Dad would be too!

Marilyn is so funny!!

LZ Blogger said...

WOW Cliff! This looks great, what a really nice job you guys did on this tractor! I guess if I need some body work done, I'll know who to call! I looked for you at the game! My youngest son and I were there. It could not have been sweeter! ~ jb///

JUST A MOM said...


Miki said...

The tractor is gorgeous...I love it when something Old, but beloved is restored to its "new" look! What a beautiful legacy that you have there on the farm Cliff!

nora said...

Will we see this in the July Fourth parade next year?

Lucy Stern said...

Wow Cliff, she's a real beauty.

Lucy Stern said...

Wow Cliff, she's a real beauty.