Saturday, July 15, 2017

Allis-Chalmers W Speed Patrol

Allis-Chalmers was a company that strove to be all things to every market. In the early years of the 20th Century there were many more miles of washboard dirt roads than there were paved ones and consequently there were lots of potential customers who wanted to do something about the teeth rattling experience of motoring the nation's byways. There were already a number of companies with years of experience building road graders so A-C approached Ryan Manufacturing Company with a deal that apparently they couldn't refuse. This gave A-C an intro with a line of pull and motor graders in 1931.

The model W Speed Patrol was introduced in 1940 as a replacement for the WC Speed Maintainer. It was designed to meet the demands of a market that needed a light duty road grader at an affordable price. During a production run that lasted from 1940 to 1950 Allis manufactured 3751 units.

The Speed Patrol was basically a WC farm tractor that had been fitted with a 10 foot blade for road work. A simple machine, it lacked a hydraulics system with all blade adjustments being manual.

Built at the Allis-Chalmers works at LaPorte, Indiana and Springfield, Illinois it was powered by an A-C four cylinder 201 cubic inch gasoline engine that was rated at 32 horsepower at 1300 rpm. A four speed forward plus reverse transmission provided a range of forward speeds from 2.5 to 9.5 mph.

The WC farm version was in production from 1933 to 1948 and proved to be a  popular tractor selling 178,000 units. Designed as a row crop fitted with rubber tires a quoted price for a 1948 model was $825.

The WC was shipped to the University of Nebraska Lincoln for test number 304 in June of 1938. The gasoline version posted a maximum observed rating of 22.29 hp drawbar and 29.93 on the belt. You can  view and download a complete copy of this test report by visiting

The Speed Patrol shown here was exhibited at the 2016 Richland Creek Antique Fall Festival in Saluda, SC. No information was displayed about this machine’s history or the owner's name.

Additional Resources:
The Earthmover Encyclopedia by Keith Haddock

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