Have you ever bought something just because the price was right? I mean, something you did not need and hadn't even considered before you saw one for sale? This is such a thing: a 1945 Allis-Chalmers tractor.

Mark Lieberman is a friend of mine and he owns Nostalgic Motoring, where he restores, buys, and sells old cars. I visit his shop from time to time - this is where I saw Tucker #47 not long ago - and every time I am there, I see some cool new vehicles.

This time, I noticed this bright orange beauty. I asked him, out of curiosity, if it was for sale and what the asking price was. $3,000. That's right - just $3,000. I once bought an army truck because I found out you could buy one for less than $5,000. I certainly didn't need an army truck at that point in my life. And that thing took up two spots in my 3-car garage. This tractor could probably fit between two cars in your garage and your wife might not even notice it there.

This is a 1945 model C, and Mark went through it from front to back. Rebuilt carb, new battery and starter, cleaned fuel lines and so on.

I asked him how it ran and he fired it up for me. I've had cars that were harder to start and they weren't built during World War II. Notice the cool offset axles - for the ground clearance you will need to get over those pesky stumps in your front yard.

You can tell by looking at it, this thing is indestructible. It will outlive us all. And it is fun to sit in.

Just buy it, stick it in the garage and throw a tarp over it. She will never even notice it's there. And if she does, tell her you bought it to help her with that new garden she's always wanted to start. "It was going be a surprise!"Seriously: What else would you want to spend $3,000 on?

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Steve Lehto has been practicing law for 23 years, almost exclusively in consumer protection and Michigan lemon law. He wrote The Lemon Law Bible and Chrysler's Turbine Car: The Rise and Fall of Detroit's Coolest Creation.


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