Note: This feature is in the August TT&C 2018 issue.
Armand Deyoung’s retirement hobby is scratch building 1/16 scale Allis-Chalmers industrial and agricultural equipment, but his fondness for the brand started at an early age.
Armand’s first experience working with Allis-Chalmers equipment came by chance while working for a neighbor. He explained, “While in high school, I worked for a farmer who had an Allis-Chalmers WD45 tractor. I would haul grain from the field to the grain dryer setup in the yard. That was my only involvement with Allis-Chalmers until later in life. I grew up in the best of times, driving anything that had tires and a steering wheel. I couldn’t drive into town until I was old enough to have a license, however.”
He continued, “In 1993, I learned about The Allis Connection club, as they held a show in the Amana Colonies at Amana, Iowa. I took in the show and admired several Allis-Chalmers tractors. It wasn’t long before I joined that club. About the same time, we moved to a small farm. With more space and storage, I decided it would be fun to have a tractor, so I bought a 1936 Allis-Chalmers WC that needed some TLC. During the following years, I acquired and restored eight more Allis-Chalmers tractors.”
In 1975, the allure of farm toys captured Armand’s interest when he began collecting 1/64 scale models. That early assemblage included an assortment of brands. His accumulation soon swelled to well over 600 pieces. When Armand bought the antique Model WC, he expanded the model collection by adding 1/16 scale replicas.
“In 2008, we decided to sell the antique tractors. I also needed display space for the models, so I packaged up 600 of the 1/64 scale units and sent them to Yoder Auction in Iowa for sale. At the same time, we relocated permanently to Mesa, Ariz., where we currently reside,” Armand noted.