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Chamberlain Tractors

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Chamberlain John Deere is a brand of tractors from Australia.

...to produce a tractor entirely suited to the large land holdings of Australian farmers...Melbourne engineer A.W. (Bob) Chamberlain in the 1930s

Whilst Bob Chamberlain was working as a tractor mechanic in Victoria he designed a tractor and built a prototype tractor around what he believed farmers wanted. It became the basis of the 40K model tractor.

The Western Australian Government having heard of Bob Chamberlain's plan to build tractors persuaded the Chamberlains to use an ex-munitions factory in Welshpool, Western Australia. Thus the first Tractors rolled off the production line in 1949.

The first Chamberlain tractor produced was the model 40k which had 40 horsepower (30 kW) twin-cylinder, horizontally opposed engines. They weighed about four tonnes and were considered to be ideal for the needs of Australian farmers.

In 1955 the production of kerosene powered tractors was replaced by diesel powered models and as a publicity stunt in the same year Chamberlains entered the new diesel powered Champion model tractor in the Redex around Australia rally trial, it became known as "Tail End Charlie" The tractor in question was fitted with modified cab, bench seat and high speed gears. Initial attempts to enter the event were met with disbelief, and it was only officially recognised as a recovery vehicle for one leg of the rally. Tail-End Charlie is reputed to have completed one stage of the race whilst towing as many as six other entrants that broke down on the way. In a subsequent rally, the powers that be relented, and the Chamberlain machine completed the whole course.

An expansion and refit of the Welshpool Plant was undertaken in 1978. The Welshpool manufacturing site was redeveloped and a new office complex built in 1982, however by 1986 due to significant decline in demand, the manufacture of the famous Chamberlain tractors ceased.