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Back When: 1947 Allis Chalmers WC

10 Sep 2023
As William “Bill” Britz Jr. was approaching retirement and looking for a project to keep him busy. For several years Bill would drive past a farm with an Allis Chalmers WC sitting behind a barn northeast of Denver, Colorado. He fi nally decided to fi nd out who owned it and see if it was for sale. Upon inspection Bill found it was in very good condition.
This WC was exactly like the one his family used to farm with in Illinois when he was a teen.
After purchasing the WC, Bill and one of his grandsons made the 180-mile trip to bring the WC to his home in Wheatland, Wyoming. The WC was a perfect project for Bill and his grandsons Matthew and Will.
Bill chose to keep the WC as close to original as possible. To keep it original, Bill stayed with a 6-volt electrical system.
Part of the restoration process involved replacing bolts and brackets that were not original. Bill and his grandsons spent days searching junkyards and collecting original frame and wheel lug bolts from junked tractors.
The WC had damage on its front grille screen and a portion of it was missing. On one of their junking trips, they found part of a front grille screen. One of the welders in Bill’s company was able to repair the original screen by welding in a piece from the junkyard fi nd. The repair was done so well that it is impossible to tell where it has been repaired.
Rather than take a chance of getting sand into any of the internal workings, Bill opted to hand strip the complete frame and sheet metal instead of sandblasting them.
After all repairs were made, they primed the parts for fi nal painting and repainted them with Allis Chalmers Persian Orange two-part epoxy paint. As the paint was being removed, Bill noticed the WC came from the factory painted yellow prior to being repainted Allis Chalmers Persian Orange. It’s believed that the WC may have been originally purchased by the Colorado State Highway Commission, which would explain the yellow paint.
After repainting the WC, Bill applied a full set of Wacker decals for a fi nal touch.
The grandsons were six and seven years old when the project started and teens by the time it was completed. Eight years of work went into the restoration.
The real heart-pounding excitement came as the WC was fi red up for the fi rst time in a decade. The memories that sound elicited for Bill were almost overwhelming. That overhauled engine purred like a kitten on idle and showed no smoke when it roared to life! 


Farmers Hot Line is part of the Catalyst Communications Network publication family.